In this episode:
Ingrid talks about the process of writing her memoir and how important it was for her for the book to be a memoir, so that her story could help others who may have had similar experiences not feel so alone. We talk about how complex trauma is rooted in relational abuse and how emotional abuse can be harder to name that something like physical abuse that may leave a mark. Her book gives language to this type of abuse that happens within families.
Children can often blame themselves for abuse because they are dependent on their caregivers to survive. The body and mind of a child may blame themselves as a protection because acknowledging an unsafe caregiver can feel even worse.
We talk about the use of gaslighting to make children and adults question their own memories of experiences, and how that takes root in the nervous system. Gaslighting was the word of the year in the Websters dictionary for 2022, so that suggests that emotional abuse is becoming more understood and discussed. The World Health Organization has made CPTSD Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and official diagnosis, but it is still not a part of the DSM in the United States meaning that it is not a recognized diagnostic code.
We talk about how trauma lives in the body and how that can make it hard to identify through thinking about it. It lives on a subconscious level. The body creates coping strategies and does what it was designed to do which is keep you safe. However, once the abusive situation is no longer a threat, those coping strategies can show up in situations and in relationships that cause distress and do not serve you any longer. We talk about the various therapeutic modalities that can be used to treat CPTSD and how curiosity is the key in each one.
Ingrid shares that through the process of putting this book out into the world, she has discovered that her experiences are heartbreakingly more common than she realized, and through that she has discovered a community of survivors.