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  • Writer's pictureGemma

Hidden Trauma Behind Other Trauma

As you are already aware, I am very proud to be the first Cognomovement practitioner in the UK. The Cognomovement system is a healing modality designed to find where in your physical body you have stored a trauma so that we can work on removing it before it festers into something dangerous so that you can have physical health as well as mental relief, but what happens when I need this treatment? It isn't possible for me to do the work on myself therefore I too require a qualified cognomovement practitioner for assistance. A few weeks ago I was struggling with a loss - I knew primarily it was the emotion of grief that I was dealing with as I work on myself all the time applying the same tools that I teach but I also knew that I needed some help this time as I was starting to feel unwell, I wasn't sleeping and my mood was fully flat so I reached out to one of my friends in America to do a zoom Cognomovement session on me. What I want to talk to you about today is the hidden trauma behind another trauma as it came to light for me in this session and honestly it caught me totally off guard but proved to be a valuable lesson which I would now like to share with you.

At the beginning of my zoom session with my American friend, I armed her with all the relevant information of what had recently happened in my life and I explained why I believed I was feeling the way that I felt. Just FYI an interesting fact about Cognomovement is that it tends to unearth other factors that you might not have originally considered, this is exactly what happened to me. Generally speaking when I talk about any grief or loss that I have experienced be it new or old the conversation tends to always lead back to my biggest loss which is my Dad. My Dad died over 20 years ago but his is this death that changed my life dramatically therefore it tends to naturally be the most dominant death and the most unpleasant to recall.

As a Cognomovement practitioner you are trained to look for unusual eye movements during the session (amongst other things) because eye movements reveal a lot about what is happening in the brain whilst you talk about different topics. My friend spotted these in me (I had no clue my eyes were doing anything unusual which is why you cant do this work on yourself). Each time she spotted something she asked what I was thinking about at that exact moment that my eyes did their weird thing and this is how we got to the surprising deep stuff.

I was 22 when my Dad died. I had watched his demise for 18 months whilst he was misdiagnosed over and over again until finally by chance he found himself in front of a locum doctor (a doctor who wasn't from our surgery / a doctor just filling in) who finally saw what we and my Dad knew, which was that he was a very, very poorly man. This doctor asked if I would take dad straight to our local hospital, which I did, and it was there where he was told that his body was riddled with cancer and they estimated he had possibly 3 months left to live. It was pretty much 3 months to the day after this announcement that he died which is when my house of cards finally came tumbling down around me. I knew that this had profoundly effected me and I knew that all the family drama that followed it caused as much damage to me as the death had. If you are beginning to understand me you will know that I would of already, since then, worked incredibly hard on myself though personal development to rebuild and heal myself of this, which is totally true, so imagine my surprise when I am talking about a different situation of loss i.e. my recent one and the following details start popping into my mind and pouring out of my mouth - I was totally unprepared.

During my weird eye movement moments I kept getting images flash through my mind of my dads friends. These men, the friends of my dad weren't just his friends they were my family. Most of them were friends with my Mum and Dad before I was born so out of respect I was raised to call them my uncles and honestly I spent more time with them and had more love and admiration for them than I did for my real extended family. In my minds eye I was seeing uncles that had passed away and those that are still living. I was getting bits of memory flash by of my 22 years spent with them either out walking, caving, camping and rock climbing or down the pub with them for a quick beer before I went off with my friends. I could see the endless times that they were at our family home from my earliest of memories to the day of my dads funeral but what was perplexing to me was how I felt when these memories blipped in - I felt pain, not a physical pain but a crushing emotional pain, it was sadness, emptiness, abandonment, alone and dark, I was hurting, I started to cry, I wanted to ugly cry like full on go for it, I was a mess and then out of nowhere it just dawned on me that what I was feeling right there and then was grief. When my dad died I didn't just lose my dad I lost my family. These men were my dads friends and yes I'm sure they were happy for me to call them uncle and for me to view them as super cool outdoor men but ultimately I wasn't the same status to them as they were to me - I was just the kid of their mate and now that they didn't have their mate anymore their life had to adjusted to a life without him which to them meant life without Mum and I too. Now current day I totally get it but back then to the 22 year old me I lost my Dad and 10+ other people who I loved dearly, they were my lifeline. I also lost some of my closest school friends around this time too but that's another story for another day.

The reason why I am telling you this story is because there are a few things to consider here. Firstly I am trained but I had not connected that my grief for my dad also had other branches of grief growing from it i.e. losing family and friends. I had previously worked on my grieving for my dad but I had assumed all the hurt I felt was because I no longer had my dad, it had not occurred to me that I was grieving a far bigger loss - I lost my dad, my family and my friends. By only working on my dad grief I left this other stuff just sat there going unnoticed and unchecked but that doesn't mean that it goes away, it just sits there and then for me in this instance when I experienced this present moment of grief it connected to that old stuff which made this loss seem bigger hence feeling ill etc because it was a combination of old stuff not dealt with and then this new stuff sat on top. If you are currently struggling with grief maybe just stop for a minute and think of what else have you lost from losing that person? It could be similar to me were you have also lost friends and family or a beloved pet. It could be your lifestyle / finances have gone or your career expired. I gave up my job to care for my Mum and Dad and then the first interview that I had after Dad had passed away the lady interviewing me was vile and gave me a disciplinary lecture stating that "you cant just leave your job when someone dies, that's ridiculous as people die everyday, what are you going to do with your life if you are constantly quitting your job?". What a peach she was. If you are unaware of all the elements of your grief then just sorting out one element doesn't fix you, you need to work on the full package of grief which includes every element of it.

Secondly try and consider the chain effect when trauma hits - maybe you divorce your partner which obviously will be tough on your kids therefore try to make sure that they don't have extra trauma branches attached to your decision to leave their Mum or Dad i.e. losing their aunties and uncles, grandparents, family friends and pets etc on your ex partners side. We tend not to see the damage being done while it is happening, it appears later when the damage has already been done and has taken full effect. It is so much harder to fix than to prevent.

Try to remember the role that you play in other peoples lives. You may need to step it up and give some extra support even though you are hurting too. If you lose your friend does that automatically mean that you should bin off their husband / wife / children / sister / brother etc?

I just want to be clear here, I am not condemning anyone's actions or harbouring any grudges. For a start this is only a view of how I saw things and just because this is how I felt doesn't make it so - I say this because I hope you are starting to understand that what you see through your own eyes is massively limited by your own perceptions and that doesn't make something a fact it just makes it your version of a story. Also I cant with certainty say that if I was them 20+ years ago that I would of done anything differently to what they did but I did find it interesting that I went into my session thinking one way and came out of it releasing trauma that I had stored away inside me for years and years not knowing its importance or strength and while I held it, it too held me and was still affecting how I processed grief to that day.

Look after yourselves people. Take a minute to understand yourself a little bit better because the best healer you have access to is you and you can rewrite your story anytime that you chose.


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