What is wrong with me?
This question has haunted Valerie since she was a little girl. Whether it was being too loud, too smart, wearing the wrong clothes or eating the wrong things, something around her behaviour always seemed to be wrong. Her life’s journey ended up being guided by this question, and it brought her into the field of psychology.
Two graduate degrees later, she thought she was living her dream life. She had a thriving private practice and a family and home she adored. However, one day she was on the phone with a client and realised that she was only smiling with the right side of her face. The left side of her mouth was hanging down, and so was her left arm. She ended up in the ER with symptoms of a stroke. Her diagnosis: Stress. It mystified her, because she didn’t feel stressed at all.
Valerie realised that the question of what was wrong with her was still there. It hadn't gone away with everything she had accomplished. It was just numbed. And while she thought she had done everything she could to be happy and fulfilled, that’s not how she felt.
Discovering the Hidden Trauma
She started wondering why, and looked at what she did to help her own clients shift away from their numbness, and whether she could apply that to herself too.
Even though none of them had big traumatic experiences, she used trauma resolution tools in her therapy because she saw symptoms of trauma in all of them. They were somehow disconnected from parts of themselves, their dreams and desires. That’s when it hit her: Could it be that there was some trauma she was overlooking, a hidden trauma that affects people as a collective, herself included?
In this episode of the Sigrun Show, Valerie talks about how she discovered Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) and how it affects women and men alike. She shares how PSD is responsible for many limiting beliefs women experience, and why now is the perfect time to heal yourself from this hidden trauma.
Have you ever felt disconnected to your own feelings and ideas? Do you sometimes feel something is wrong with you, but you can’t pin-point exactly what it is? Then this episode is a must-listen.
What you will get out of this episode:
- What is wrong with me? The question that has accompanied Valerie all her life (3:34)
- How Valerie discovered PSD (6:47)
- How PSD shows up (9:42)
- The healing tools for PSD (11:58)
- How PSD connects to the upper limit problem (15:09)
- The 5 stage system to healing (16:15)
- Why now is the best time to heal your trauma (22:31)
- Valerie’s morning exercise (30:36)
- Anticipating the next trauma (34:58)
Morning Ritual to Counter Negative Feelings Brought by Hidden Trauma
If you feel stressed, experience anxiety or aren’t sleeping well, there might be an underlying reason for these feelings that isn’t immediately obvious to you. Dr. Valerie Rein uses trauma resolution tools to help her clients connect to themselves, because even though none of them has big traumatic experiences, she recognised trauma symptoms in all of them. To counter negative feelings brought forth by hidden trauma, she recommends the following exercise she does every morning.
Every morning when you wake up, get in touch with your body and check in how you feel. Ask yourself the question: How much of what you feel is yours, and how much of it is something that affects people as a collective? Take a deep breath, squeeze your muscles, then breathe out, letting it all drop. Repeat a few times.
Shake out your feelings. Animals shake themselves to release stress. Shake your head and your feet, and if some emotion is present, add an expression. You might feel sadness, anger or fear. Let the emotion come to your voice and face. It doesn’t have to be for long, the lifespan of an emotion is 90 seconds if you allow it to express fully. Shake it all out, then tap your shoulders and legs and breathe until you feel your system settle down.
Move over to the soothing phase and caress your arms and hands. This brings the nervous system to a deep level of relaxation and safety. You will notice the shift already as during this phase your body is producing oxytocin, which makes us feel good and helps us connect with our community.
Did this episode help you do something for your own wellbeing? If you have ever suffered from a hidden trauma or have discovered other ways to deal with stress or anxiety, I would love to hear from you. You can follow and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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