My book of poetry, "Stripping- My fight to find Me" is a story of the triumph of the human spirit. It is a story of our deep need for connection and the infinite power of love to heal.

Hello,
It’s Sunita here.

I am a poet, an author, a wife, a mother, a clinician and a childhood trauma survivor. I healed when I understood that I was broken,
not a victim. I learnt that everything I needed was within me. And that my mental health and my inner life was the essence and driving force of my existence.

I now want to challenge and inspire you to move beyond your old stories so you can embrace possibility and fulfill your potential. So, if that is where you are in your life, I invite you to come visit with me every Friday.

The conversation is honest, the topics are varied, the perspectives are from many angles, but the bottom line is always
Self Love Self Care First. I hope you will join me in a journey of discovery, wonder, growth and a celebration of our truth.

And love

Because what else is there to talk about?

Be well, Do well, Live well,
Warmly,
Sunita

Friday, June 14, 2019

Dr. Edward Tronick, The Still Face Experiment and Stripping : My Fight to Find Me- It's Personal.


Hello,
It's Sunita here.

In this picture of a baby, I see beauty, innocence, curiosity, openness, trust, love, playfulness, confidence, eagerness...

What do you see?

How does one go from this state of purity and security to a place of darkness and endless despair? Look around and the mental anguish our society finds itself in is hard to miss.

Early childhood trauma is a major player in the etiology of depression and anxiety, inability to form healthy social relationships, poor or absent emotional regulation and a constant fight or flight state, even in the absence of an actual threat. And this list most certainly does not cover all the consequences of such trauma. Advances in scientific findings now connects childhood trauma as a common factor in the history of those who suffer from addictions.

Brain research has shown that child abuse and neglect not only changes the way a child's developing brain functions but it also causes it to suffer actual structural damage. Such trauma is called Developmental Trauma and its  effect on the brain is different than that on an adult brain.

 The Still Face Experiment is very hard to watch but it demonstrates a critical point in our current understanding of how early in our development we are socially receptive. This video shows the work of Dr. Edward Tronick, one of the pioneers of research on attachment and mother-infant bonding and the originator of the “still-face paradigm,” He is Distinguished Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and the Director of its Child Development Unit. 

Dr. Tronick explains it like this, "It's a little like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The good is that normal stuff that goes on, which we all do with our kids. The bad is when something bad happens, but the infant can overcome it. After all, when you stop the ‘Still Face,’ the mother and the baby start to play again. The ugly is when you don't give the child any chance to get back to the good; there's no reparation and they're stuck in that really ugly situation."

One of the prominent risk factors for child abuse and neglect is a history of transgenerational trauma. That is, if a parent or primary childcare provider was abused or neglected themselves, there is an increased risk of them doing the same to their children.

That is why there needs to be more awareness of Childhood Trauma, it's risk factors, it's effects on the abused and neglected child and the perpetual suffering that it causes not only to that child in their lifetime but also to the generations that follow. 

With education and awareness, this cycle can be broken. 


There is treatment for childhood trauma that works. I know that first hand. Because I suffered deeply and for most of my life due to childhood trauma.
The process of Davanloo’s ISTDP  (Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy) transformed my experience of myself and of the world. It also re- connected me to the creative process of writing and expressing myself. My poetry in Stripping : My Fight to Find Me came about as my unconscious was activated and many poems came into existence way before I had accessed those experiences and parts of my life’s narrative in my therapy sessions.

My poems give a raw and honest account of how dark and lonely the world of attachment and transgenerational trauma is. And how resistant depression, anxiety and our defenses can be to our desire to get better. 
My poetry takes you through the fight that I had to fight to be free and whole . 

But there is success at the end. And that is why I share my poems. So, others can find hope in my story. And seek treatment.

By being open about my struggles, it is my goal to encourage others who maybe suffering in silence due to the shame and stigma attached to mental illness to come forward and seek the care they desperately need, deserve and are entitled to. 

And lastly, it is my hope that those who do not suffer from mental illness will read my book and get a better understanding of the pain and suffering of those who do. In that understanding lies compassion. 

Join me in breaking the cycle. Please share this blog with anyone that you know may be suffering from the effects of childhood trauma. They may be adults and may even be in their advanced years of life. This trauma does not leave you unless treated. And living whole, unfrightened and consciously is a reward that is worth everything it takes to break free.

With education and awareness, this cycle can be broken. 

I end with this poem from my book, Stripping : My Fight to Find Me.


AROUSAL

My slumber went unnoticed
No reason for detection
No cause for concern
No need to wake up from this deep sleep

I opened the door
To a gentle tremor
Innocently
Unsuspecting
Of this avalanche that I was hiding

#17 in the collection

Until next time,
May you have a week of love and connection,
Be well, Do well, Live well.
Sunita
#selfloveselfcarefirst
#edtronick#stillfaceexperiment#childhoodtrauma#depression#anxiety#ISTDP
photo on top thanks to generosity of Regina Zulauf.

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