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Hi Dr Catalyst

I feel like my trauma isn’t bad enough because I don’t remember it.

The only thing I remember is my mum stabbing me in the eye as a child. I remember screaming and cowering on the floor at her feet. I screamed that she stabbed me and I don’t remember what she said but I remember how emotionless she was and how she growled at me to get up and go to bed.
 
Why do people physically hurt others?
Acts of physical violence towards others can have complex origins and motivations, Teddie. It's important to keep in mind that I can only provide general information on this topic and individual motivations can vary greatly. Some potential factors that contribute to individuals physically hurting others include:

1. Psychological factors: Some individuals may have unresolved trauma or past experiences that have led to emotional or psychological distress. This distress can manifest in harmful behavior towards others.

2. Disrupted attachment: Early childhood experiences play a significant role in shaping an individual's behavior and relational patterns. Individuals who have experienced disruptions in their attachment relationships, such as neglect or abuse, may struggle to develop healthy emotional regulation and may resort to aggression as a means of coping with their own emotional pain.

3. Learned behavior: People may learn violence as a means of problem-solving or expressing power and control through their social environment or personal experiences. Exposure to violence at a young age, witnessing violence in the family or community, or involvement in gangs or criminal activities can contribute to the adoption of violent behavior.

4. Mental health conditions: Certain mental health conditions, such as conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder, or intermittent explosive disorder, may be associated with an increased risk of aggression and physical violence. These conditions can impair an individual's ability to regulate emotions and make it more challenging for them to resolve conflicts non-violently.

5. Substance abuse: Substance abuse, particularly drugs that alter mood and cognition, can impair judgment, increase impulsivity, and influence behavior. These substances can lower inhibitions and contribute to an increased likelihood of violence.

It's essential to approach the topic of physical violence with empathy and understanding, while also acknowledging that these behaviors are unacceptable and harmful. If you or someone you know is struggling with violent tendencies, it's crucial to seek professional help from a qualified mental health professional who can provide a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate treatments.

Remember, the reasons behind someone's violent behavior are complex, and it's important to focus on prevention, intervention, and holding individuals accountable while also addressing the underlying causes and providing appropriate support and treatment.
 
Thanks, Dr Catalyst.

I seem to cope with being abused by reverting to a childlike state. It brings me a huge amount of comfort. I feel extremely ashamed about this part of myself.

Is it okay to be childish?
 
Thanks, Dr Catalyst.

I seem to cope with being abused by reverting to a childlike state. It brings me a huge amount of comfort. I feel extremely ashamed about this part of myself.

Is it okay to be childish?
Thank you for sharing your experience, Teddie. It's understandable that you may find comfort in reverting to a childlike state as a coping mechanism, especially in the context of past abuse. It's important to remember that coping mechanisms, including regressing to a childlike state, serve a purpose in helping individuals navigate difficult emotions or memories.

There is no inherent issue with having childlike tendencies or finding comfort in childlike activities. Many people engage in activities like coloring, playing with stuffed animals, or watching children's shows for relaxation or comfort. However, it's crucial to acknowledge any potential concerns if these tendencies interfere with your daily functioning or relationships.

It's important to approach self-compassion and acceptance when exploring these coping mechanisms. Experiencing shame about this part of yourself is not uncommon, but it's important to recognize that these coping mechanisms likely developed as a result of the abuse you endured. They may have helped you survive and find comfort during a distressing time.

If you find that your childlike tendencies are causing distress or interfering with your ability to navigate adulthood effectively, it may be helpful to work with a qualified mental health professional who can offer guidance and support. They can help you explore alternative coping strategies to address your emotional needs in a way that is healthy and adaptive.

Remember, Teddie, everyone copes differently, and there is no "right" or "wrong" way to cope. The most important thing is to prioritize your emotional well-being and work towards healing and growth. How do you feel about exploring alternative coping strategies with the support of a mental health professional?
 
My childlike tendencies don’t cause me any problems with my functioning. If anything, it improves my functioning.
I feel that I would be unable to cope with adult life if I didn’t have my colouring and toys at work or at home.

I find it very embarrassing. I don’t act this way on purpose.
I’m well liked by my peers and being childish is genuinely a part of who I am.
I don’t think I would be this level of childish if it weren’t for my abuse, though.
 
My childlike tendencies don’t cause me any problems with my functioning. If anything, it improves my functioning.
I feel that I would be unable to cope with adult life if I didn’t have my colouring and toys at work or at home.

I find it very embarrassing. I don’t act this way on purpose.
I’m well liked by my peers and being childish is genuinely a part of who I am.
I don’t think I would be this level of childish if it weren’t for my abuse, though.
I appreciate your honesty, Teddie, and it's great to hear that your childlike tendencies are not causing any problems with your functioning and even improving it. Coping mechanisms can indeed have a positive impact on our well-being and help us navigate the challenges of life.

It's important to remember that there is diversity in how individuals express themselves and find comfort. If engaging in childlike activities such as coloring and having toys brings you joy and helps you cope with adult life, that is completely valid. Your preferences and what brings you comfort are unique to you, and it's not something to feel embarrassed about.

It's understandable that you may feel a sense of embarrassment, especially when there may be societal expectations or judgments about how adults "should" behave. However, it's important to be compassionate towards yourself and recognize that your childlike tendencies are a part of who you are. They serve as a reminder of the strength and resilience you have shown in finding ways to cope with the impact of abuse.

Your understanding that your level of childishness may be influenced by your past abuse is insightful. Traumatic experiences can shape our behaviors and coping mechanisms, including adopting childlike tendencies as a means of finding comfort and safety. Acknowledging this connection can be an important step in your healing journey.

If you ever feel the need to explore your experiences further or find a safe space to discuss your feelings of embarrassment, a mental health professional can provide valuable support. They can help you process and integrate your experiences in a way that feels comfortable for you.

Remember, Teddie, it is perfectly okay to embrace and express your unique self, including your childlike tendencies, if it brings you comfort and does not hinder your well-being. What are some ways you can practice self-compassion and acceptance of this part of yourself?
 
Thank you, doc.
Is it okay that my trauma feels like a secret?
You're welcome, Teddie. The feeling that your trauma is a secret is something that many individuals with traumatic experiences can relate to. It's not uncommon for people to keep their trauma hidden, sometimes out of fear, shame, or the belief that others may not understand or be supportive.

However, it's important to remember that keeping your trauma a secret can also have its challenges. Secrecy can contribute to feelings of isolation, increased distress, and difficulty in seeking support. Opening up about your experiences can be a significant step towards healing and finding support from others who may have similar experiences or who can provide understanding and compassion.

The decision to share your trauma is a personal one and should always be made based on your comfort level and readiness. There is no right or wrong timeline for discussing your trauma with others. It's essential to prioritize your own well-being throughout this journey.

Consider reaching out to a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional who can create a safe and supportive space for you to share your experiences. They can help provide guidance, validation, and empathy as you navigate this process.

Remember, you have the right to choose who you feel safe sharing your trauma with, and it's okay to take your time in deciding when and how to share this part of your life. What are your thoughts on finding someone you trust to confide in about your secret?
 
I wish I could have saved myself when I was a child.
It's understandable to feel a sense of sadness or regret when looking back on the past and wishing things could have been different. Many people who have experienced trauma may have similar thoughts and feelings of wanting to protect their younger selves.

It's important to remember that as a child, you did not have the control or power to change your circumstances or protect yourself from the abuse you endured. Abuse is the responsibility of the abuser, not the victim. Children are particularly vulnerable and dependent on the adults in their lives for protection and support.

While we can't change the past, we can focus on healing and empowering ourselves in the present. Healing from trauma involves acknowledging the pain and working towards building a life that is meaningful and fulfilling. This process can include therapy, self-care practices, and cultivating support systems.

It can also be helpful to shift your focus from the past to the present. What actions can you take now to nurture and protect yourself? What steps can you take towards creating a safe and supportive environment for yourself? This might include setting boundaries, practicing self-compassion, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and healing.

Remember, Teddie, you are deserving of love, care, and protection, both then and now. Your resilience in surviving and navigating through your experiences is a testament to your strength. How can you show yourself compassion and kindness as you continue on your healing journey?
 
Thanks, doc. I understand that it wasn’t my fault. I usually don’t dwell on the past like this. I wish I was stronger or smarter or nicer back then. I might have been able to save myself. Or if I were a time traveller I could go back and save her from being abused.
 
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