One of the various things that can block communication is EMOTIONAL TRAUMA.
Emotional trauma causes the subconscious brain to become hypervigilant when searching for potential threats. The subconscious brain is like a pessimistic Santa. It has a long, long list of all the things that are naughty (it doesn’t pay much attention to the nice things because they’re not a threat.) The more things that are on this list, the more threats Subconscious Santa will see out in the world.
There’s more. What seems unfair is that the subconscious brain does not discern between real events and those that occur in the brain. You’d think the brain would know it is the one thinking about/ remembering/ fearing these things and not react… maybe it does know these things are not real, but reacts just in case.
If I’ve made the subconscious brain out to be some dastardly villain, please allow me to backpedal a little bit. Your subconscious brain has been protecting human bodies for millennia. It has found a way that works… worked, that is, until humans filled their world to the brim with stressful, sensorily-accosting, panic-filled triggers. There are cars traveling at eighty miles per hour, bosses who demand people to work 90-minute hours, cell towers emitting signals that may or may not be zapping our cells, cell phones that urge us to inform our friends of exactly what we are doing and eating at every moment of the day, computers that allow us to date and play and chat without any physical connection, foods that food scientists are paid millions of bucks to make as tempting and addictive as possible, people in far-away countries who are starving and victimized, people next door who are starving and victimized and overly-reactive kids who experience these stressors in an even more raw and intense way. Add emotional trauma to that heavy package and a psyche might threaten to splinter.
Our subconscious brains are our friends– they have our best interests in mind and are simply trying to protect us. The environment that has fashioned them to this point had much less going on. When bad things happened, they were much (much) more severe, yet life-threatening events didn’t happen every (every) day. It’s unfair to blame the subconscious for being a Pessimistic Santa because, in this chaotic, over-stimulating world we have made, it’s only doing what it knows. It’s trying as hard as we all are.
We all have emotional trauma to release… hopefully STLL can help.
If you’re thinking you’re lucky that you haven’t experienced any emotional trauma, you’re mistaken: you have. We all have. A traumatic event does not have to look bad on paper. A memory of being chosen last for the soccer team in fifth grade could affect someone person just as intensely as other experiences that would be so bad that I’m not going to even type them.
It’s believed that the subconscious brain has the capacity to hold all memories. It’s likely that it assigns a certain valence to each memory (a kinda bad memory might get a 2, whereas a horrific event would get a 10). There’s nothing saying that a slew of 2’s is any better or worse than one big ol’ 10.
How does emotional trauma block communication?
In short: the more the subconscious mind is triggered to believe there is a threat, the more often it switches the body’s nervous system into the “fight or flight” mode. Also known as the sympathetic nervous system, this is the body’s survival mode. In this mode, the body does not heal, repair, regenerate, detoxify, digest or prepare for reproduction. In this mode, the body only burns and twitches and glances nervously, ready for something to attack.
…So, actually, communication is heightened in this state! And that can feel good (what a rush!) But communication is not being used to sustain, heal or support the body… Hypervigalence might feel good but it doesn’t make for a healthy, long-lived existence. Eventually a body revved up by emotional trauma will crash.