Childhood Developmental Trauma

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
Hi Teasel. I have developmental trauma. It was and is a big part of why I think the way I do and how my nervous system is wired. I am doing my best to keep my awareness around it and do lots of things to help it like meditate, yoga, eat well, focus on self regulation and really try to have habits and schedules for myself so I don't fall into reactive mode. By and large it is working out for me but I have also been able to normalize my day to day living and that has really facilitated these changes for myself. Developmental trauma is devastating though.

Anyway, a great article by Psychology Today gives the nuts and bolts of how Developmental Trauma impacts brain development is here.
What Is Developmental Trauma? | Psychology Today UK

Van der Kolk
Developmental Trauma Disorder (d1wqtxts1xzle7.cloudfront.net)

ACAMH
Developmental Trauma: How useful is this framework? - ACAMH

Laurence Heller
Dr Laurence Heller Introduces the NARM Approach to Healing Developmental Trauma - YouTube

Experiments with baby monkey. I hate these experiments but they were important to my understanding. This video is not so disturbing to me as some and at the end of it, it really crystalized how attachment for babies affected their ability to explore their world. It is an old video (circa 1950's?)
Harlow's Studies on Dependency in Monkeys - YouTube

I hope this is helpful to you and best wishes to you as you continue to heal.
 

Rani G2

MyPTSD Pro
Yes Teasel, have been dealing with developmental/Chronic Trauma. Shimmerz has already given good info above. Was born into a violent household, boarding schools, punishments like being locked in dark basements for hours,as a child and abandonment which lasted a couple of years. Also sexual abuse.


I have found Ellert Nijenhuis helpful (Not everyone find his work accessible),
The Alchemy of Wolves and Sheep (A relational approach to internalized perpetration in complex trauma survivors from Harvey L Schwartz)

For me the most helpful aspects of Therapy has been embodied Therapy, TRE (Trauma releasing) and Yoga. Still finding inner child work and Part therapy difficult..

Lot of strength to you!!!
 

Teasel

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sorry I've not replied sooner. A bit of avoidance and I forgot.

I was just listening again to Van der Kolk. Chapter 7 Getting on the same wavelength, attachment and attunement.

Talking all about attachment styles.

Had an enormous reaction of grief to the description of disorganised attachment.

It's kind of strange, I've always had difficulty in placing me as anxious or avoidant attachment style well it's because I'm both!

I shall come back to this. Thanks so much for the replies and suggestions, I shall come back to them
 

JRRTG

Learning
I'm sorry I've not replied sooner. A bit of avoidance and I forgot.

I was just listening again to Van der Kolk. Chapter 7 Getting on the same wavelength, attachment and attunement.

Talking all about attachment styles.

Had an enormous reaction of grief to the description of disorganised attachment.

It's kind of strange, I've always had difficulty in placing me as anxious or avoidant attachment style well it's because I'm both!

I shall come back to this. Thanks so much for the replies and suggestions, I shall come back to them
I’m also in that disorganised attachment. It’s difficult to read too because it can be read as though we are the most difficult. I’ve dedicated my whole career and studies to attachment theory, and, well still doesn’t make me feel any better when reading about it! But, we can totally understand why we would get there in the first place. X
 

Nevermore

MyPTSD Pro
I’m here too. I’ve only recently found out about this, and - @Teasel, I too feel a lot of grief.
We don’t get a good write-up! And I feel like now I understand why my relationships have been pretty traumatic. Because of me ):
Apparently it really helps to write out your life, to make sense of it and I guess that makes sense as a lot is fuzzy with me.
My childhood home wasn’t violent or obviously abusive, it was more about neglect and emotional abuse. And most of all probably watching my mother become severely mentally ill, and worst of all not getting help.
But it’s confusing because all the kids loved to come to our place, I guess maybe because it was like there were no adults.
Anyway, I can’t believe how long it’s taken to find out this and now it all horribly makes sense.
Something to work on...
I saw this online thing for help to write out your life if you have disorganised attachment. I think I’m going to do it. If it’s any good, I’ll come back and post.
 

internal

Sponsor
i have disorganized attachment (as well as bpd which is apparently a really strong indecator of disorgenized attachment, so enjoy that.) as well. for me it's the most difficult to form bonds with people, over or under sharing, not understanding what to say or do.

i even tend to move and talk weird (like stereotypies). and when i am stressed this gets worse and i do things like move my hands weird or rock back and forth or bang my head off the wall. (i don't do that stuff much any more. but i still scratch myself and things.)

and relate to people, to seek comfort in appropriate ways, to understand social dynamics, and things like that. i learned about RAD when i was a young adult and i don't think that i had it (it's like 1% of even the most severely neglected people end up getting it so it's not likely even with everything else)

but it did give me a framework to start to work with some of this in particular understanding how to seek comfort, self-soothe, and all that jazz. the good news is that the prognosis for attachment is actually fairly good, even reactive attachment (which is why it is less talked of in adults compared to something like disinhibited social engagement disorder).

the longer you are in a stable situation the more resolved these issues become. especially if it isn't reactive. i went from being unable to understand what people were doing and saying and being literally insane and attacking people at random, to being able to be married, normally.

and even with bpd (pds being obviously at the extreme end of things), bpd is one of the most treatable ones, too.

all that to say as hopeless as some of this seems, it actually isn't hopeless at all! if you get a therapist who understands attachment and personality disorders and trauma and cognitive loops you can really start to hammer this stuff.

(i'm not saying obviously that anyone here has a pd, like RAD, they are actually fairly rare and have a genetic component) but a therapist having the ability to understand that, i think it is helpful.

for me what changed the game was dbt. without dbt i would probably not be alive. and also with what @Nevermore said is very interesting. the therapy i'm doing now is called narretive exposure therepy which involves of to make a timeline from birth until now that hold "keystone" events of trauma

and as far as i understand it one of the biggest problems with diorganized attachment is the ability to understand what's happening coherently all the time (this one is still big for me and my reality dissolves very often and i don't trust what i'm thinking or really know what's going on)

so i would say that that is actually a good place to go. i think that ultimetely that humans are more resilient than we can give our selfs credit for some times. it is very rare that a human being will be truly broken beyond the ability of helping.

i have met a few of them but by and large the fact that you are here and trying is a huge indecator that you are not one of them.
 
Thank you, Teasel, for bring up this dissusion. This is interesting, as it’s likely related my underlying TBI during infancy. I hadn’t realized the importance of ‘attunement’ during early brain development. My Pertussis at 6 weeks and TBI most likely disrupted this attunement, according to my mother.

To make madders worse, as an infant I also wasn’t crying and had one floating eye. My mother couldn’t always be certain that, I was even looking at her. And how could I not be stressed when my airways were suddenly blocked with congestion and I couldn’t breathe nor cry out in distress. And when I’d stopped breathing, I was picked up and held upright, by my frightened caregiver, in hopes that this upright position might reopen my airways. (I suspect they knew not to hit me in their attempt to dislodge this congestion)

The framework being used by my many previous T hadn’t addressed this need for attunement. There wasn’t much eye contact in my therapies and all were quite brief. Actually, eye contact will make my want to retreat when, it’s not brief. I’m never been that trusting. But then, I was trusting of my brain surgeon and did feel safe with this slightly longer eye to eye contact when, he visited me briefly in pro-op, a few years ago. After all, we were in this surgery together, along with his team, in successfully resecting my astrocytoma.

Most of my T (all but my second T) seemed to be waiting for me to open up and be truthful with them — only that, I was already being open and truthful. I had nothing else to say in therapy about myself, other than to talk about the business of the day, my past week, the weather, the traffic, etc. etc. What kind of therapy is that.

But as long as my T thinks, I’m not being open and truthful, they’ll think there’s more work to be done. Yet for me, I’d only become bored and annoyed when realizing that, they didn’t understand. Then I’d terminate. I should have also terminated with my first and second T after about 5 years, yet mistakenly didn’t.

My T never knew I suffering from Pertussis nor a TBI during infancy, though, my second T suspected LD during my 10th year with him. Yet, none of my T were interested in my early childhood development prior to age 4, perhaps, because I couldn’t remember much of it nor talk about it. There were no traumatic flashbacks to trigger. Also, as an infant and toddler, I was apparently locked into thinking that, my life was how life was — in other words, I had nothing to compare it against — my perspective was greatly limited then, just as it likely remains now, as developmental brain damage.

So, now I get it! — It’s not as if, I had maintained a ‘blank slate’ until age 4. My brain had been developing with this early TBI at best it could. And just because I hadn’t the ability to code my early traumas into memory, didn’t mean they weren’t influencing my brain development while, the same can be said for those experiences which were lacking.
 
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