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.

I am energy. I am infinity. But I am also a poet, author, artist. wife, mother, sleep doctor, and attachment and complex childhood trauma survivor. I healed only when I understood I was broken, not a victim. I learnt that everything I needed was within me. And that my inner life was the essence and driving force of my existence.

Where did Self Love Self Care First® come from?

I needed to find meaning in my suffering so I kept thinking, “What truth did I come out of this journey with? How can I share what I know in forms other than what I receive through my poetry? What is the most foundational and fundamental truth about human existence that I discovered to be true in my suffering? That is where SLSCF® comes from.

I discovered that if we do not know our truth, we cannot love ourselves. The pain and suffering of our lives, the false external messages about life, success and achievement that we receive, and the projections and imposed expectations of others we are subjected to, mangle our truth, distract us from our destined path, and cut deep into our body, mind, and soul. They cause us to not pay attention to ourselves, and to how we live our lives. These feelings and beliefs descend into our unconscious and become habitual patterns that hijack our lives.

SelfLoveSelfCareFirst® is the journey of truthful self-examination and acceptance of our truth. Only when we are ready to find value, love, and compassion for our true selves do we begin to live free.

This blog is a celebration of love, stillness, growth, joy, discovery, and the truth. The conversation is honest, the topics are varied, the perspectives are from many angles, but the common thread weaving the discussions together is Self Love Self Care First®.

You are not moving towards any light. There is no light out there. It is inside you. You must move inwards- not outwards to look for it. No one can guide you there. Only you can give yourself the permission to embark on this journey. Only you can reclaim yourself.

Your freedom is in your hands.


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Silently Suffering Men- Are you One of Them?


It's Sunita here.

There are many studies that convincingly demonstrate that the impact of ACEs (childhood trauma) has definite gender differences but my blog is not about statistics or studies. 

It's about what I know and me sharing that with you. 

It is about what I have discovered through the filter of who I have become, as I continue to learn from my lived experiences of attachment trauma, ACEs, struggle, treatment, healing and my commitment to stay on the road to recovery. 

I ask,

  • Are men silently suffering from the impact of childhood trauma/trauma on them?
  • Is the societal expectation for them to be strong and successful in emotionally damaging ways taking its toll?
  • Are we allowing men to be vulnerable enough to ask for help?


I don't think so.

I say this based on the many conversations I have had with men over the past few years.
We have a considerable amount of work to do before there is an culture shift that encourages men to let their guard down and admit they are at the brink of a break down.

Men and women often manifest the impact of their trauma in different ways that are gender expectation based as well as manifestations of actual gender differences. ACEs (by age 5) are related to psychological distress differently for boys and girls, with ACEs being related to both internalized and externalized psychological distress for boys, while ACEs were mainly related to externalized distress for girls.

Childhood trauma has been linked to higher rates of addiction and incarceration in both men and women. 

But according to Addiction Center, men typically are more likely to abuse illicit drugs and alcohol – 11.5% of boys and men over 12 have a substance use disorder, compared to 6.4% of women and girls. However, women are more likely to go to the emergency room or fatally overdose due to substance abuse. 

Also, according to the most recent numbers published by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), 93.2 percent of the approximately 185,500 federal inmates are men, and only 6.8 percent are women. 

Men may also over achieve, over exercise, and even over earn to fit into the masculine image they feel is asked of them by society. They may adopt self sabotage and self punishing behaviors that have high social validation. This creates a loop of desperation and imprisonment, all in the effort to distance themselves from their emotional pain and suffering.

Males who have a history of ACEs commonly shy away from being in intimate relationships and seeking attachment with others, find exaggerated self worth in their accomplishments, and may be addicted to activities that are sanctioned by society like overworking. High rates of completed death by suicide is merely the tip of the emptiness iceberg of men's long standing and silent suffering.
In November 2019, in the blog 'We Must Give Men and Boys a License to be Emotional Because it's a Matter of Life or Death' I wrote,

"Our culture does not allow boys the opportunity of deeply engaging in openly emotional relationships with each other. There is a strong stereotype of boys being less emotional than girls. That is not true. It is almost impossible for young boys to express tenderness and vulnerability with each other without being labelled gay, girly or weak. This cultural taboo has resulted in a social isolation in boys that persists throughout their life as an edict of what it takes to be a man." 

The consequences of disallowing or discouraging openly emotional relationships between boys are serious and oftentimes deadly.

In a recent article, Most young men are single. Most young women are notPulitzer Prize–winning writer and journalist Daniel de Visé  shares an alarming statistic. 

"More than 60 percent of young men are single, nearly twice the rate of unattached young women, signaling a larger breakdown in the social, romantic and sexual life of the American male."

When we consider how important good relationships are to having a happy, healthy and meaningful life, this does not bode well for men.

Are we allowing men to be vulnerable enough to ask for help?

We can start by asking that question to the men we love. 

Even better, we can teach our sons, nephews, brothers and friends early on in life that being vulnerable is an act of courage, not cowardice. And we can help make our society be more empathetic and compassionate by encouraging and facilitating them to freely Acknowledge and Accept our Yearning for Love.

Every one wins when we are all free to seek love and a rich emotional life of openness with our friends and family.

If you are not feeling well, I urge you to ask for help.

Help is Available. 
Speak with someone today.
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
Hours: Available 24 hours.
Languages: English, Spanish
Learn More 988

Take great care of yourselves!
Moving forwards,
Until next time,

#TWBH #the way back home #men's health #trauma #depression #men's health #mental health #help me #SLSCF #self love self care first #you are worth it #addiction #addiction recovery #ISTDP #davanloo #dynamic therapy #recovery

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