Having a sense of safety can be nearly impossible in a world that sometimes feels like a turbulent ocean. This week's Trauma Bytes explores the profound concept of safety and how understanding it through a trauma-informed lens can transform your healing.
Distinction: This exploration focuses on unresolved trauma and is not relevant if you are still trapped in the trauma. Do what you must to keep yourself safe if you are in an unsafe environment. We are challenging the trauma response that comes when you are actually safe, but your body is responding like you are not.
Safety is more than physical security; it's a cornerstone of emotional well-being. In this edition of Trauma Bytes, we'll explore:
1. The Safety Paradox;
2. Safety and Maslow's Hierarchy; and
3. Tools for Rewiring.
1. The Safety Paradox: Uncover why trauma responses can emerge even in safe environments.
Safety, on the surface, might appear straightforward – a secure environment free from danger. However, for those carrying unresolved trauma, true safety isn't only about external conditions; it's about how the mind interprets those conditions. Trauma responses can distort perceptions, leading the mind to perceive danger where there is none.
Unresolved trauma often manifests as trauma responses in safe spaces. A phenomenon that can be confusing, puzzling, and frustrating. You may even feel like you are going a bit crazy. That is because somewhere within your subconscious, you know your reaction doesn't belong in the present moment.
2. Safety and Maslow's Hierarchy: Discover how safety fits into the layers of human needs and impacts your potential.
Safety is a fundamental human need and takes its place in the foundation of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It encompasses physical security but also psychological and emotional well-being.
Understanding the safety paradox through Maslow's lens highlights its impact on our holistic well-being. Safety emerges as a prerequisite for higher levels of self-actualization, esteem, and love/belonging. However, trauma responses rooted in past experiences can hinder this upward journey, keeping you trapped in the lower rungs of the hierarchy.
Where do you see yourself on this pyramid?