Trauma, hormones & another piece of the puzzle
Do you ever open a book at a random page, glance down and see your truth all laid out for you in words you have never seen before?
Do you buy books that sit on your shelves unopened and unread for years ( or is that just me) because you liked the sound of the book and knew you needed it in your life, but just never made the time to read it?
This week I pulled a book off my shelf – I can’t even remember why – and it opened at a page on PTSD and women – this is my summary of what I read and I’m sharing from a place of love rather than fear – because it all made so much sense to me and I feel like I’ve been given another piece of the puzzle, and now the picture is getting filled it I can make sense of my feelings, emotions and why my body behaves the way it does.
PTSD post traumatic stress disorder is no longer the domain of battle scared soldiers returning from the front line and infact research now shows that acknowledged triggers of PTSD include domestic violence, child abuse, adverse childhood experiences, sexual assault, a serious traffic accident, a serious illness or injury ( including your birthing experience), being a victim of crime, suffering natural or man made disaster ( hello global pandemic and separation from loved ones), and many other things outside of the range of normal human experience. Any of these experiences can alter stress hormones, and therefore your behaviour.
According to the National Centre for PTSD, 10 out of every 100 women compared to 4 out of every 100 men develop PTSD sometime in their life.
Whilst the PTSD has different degrees of trauma some is so disturbing that the cortisol stress response does not turn off and this is where the hormones become imbalanced and stopping being protective and instead become destructive causing conditions such as heart disease ( the biggest killer of women) fatigue, behaviour problems, depression anxiety and more. Many of these are common menopause symptoms and this is what got my attention because what if many of the menopause symptoms women are suffering is linked to long term unrecognised PTSD?
Now I’m not for one minute saying we are all walking around traumatised BUT if 1 in 10 ( 10 in every 100) women have suffered with PTSD throughout their life then this may be the “unopened boxes” in the basement that Dr Christiana Northrop speaks about?
What was even more revealing for me was that the physiological disruption caused by the stress response to PTSD can cause us to feel disconnected, alone and burned out, no longer loving the things and activities and most importantly the people we once did. This was so important for me to know that there is a physiological reason for these feelings, which is hugely validating and empowering as that then means there can be solutions and recovery and healing and a coming home to self.
To be fair it’s no surprise to me that I’m gathering this information as I come out of the other side of my menopause transformation and own healing journey. I’m now deeply connected to my own version of source and trust that I will be shown the messages I need to hear and see exactly when I need to.
Having been brought up in a household with an alcoholic father, with financial debt, attending 5 different schools in different countries due to our families lifestyle, see two fatal traffic accidents within the first month of moving to Holland ( I’d forgotten about those until I started writing this) losing my sister to cancer, my father to alcoholism, staying 5 years too long in a loveless relationship, and my mother to her second husband and then her Alzheimer’s I guess you could call one or more of those PTSD triggers? I’m not making light of this I’ve just never seen it written down this way and my physiological disruption over the last few years makes perfect sense because was it chicken or egg? My menopause transition impacting my hormones or the final trigger of my mums diagnosis and my friends cancer diagnosis literally landing in the same month triggering the stress response that then cascaded into further hormonal imbalance? Either way they danced a Merry dance together until I learned the steps and could change the music.
The woman who used to run and run and keep herself busy so that she wouldn’t feel the emotions no longer had the energy to run and had no choice but to freeze in time, feeling lost, confused and broken. I still kept showing up but every time I did I was depleting myself more I simply didn’t understand or spire I ate this until the world was stopped for us.
The last 12 months allowed me to feel and allow the disruption to occur so that I could replenish and rebuild myself letting go of the guilt and shame, the anger and resentment and find my own natural solutions to bring the joy back and move forward from a place of love and self worth.
This for me explains, but doesn’t excuse my behaviour of the last few years and I’m blogging about it so I can share my insights with other women who may be feeling the same, powering through in superwoman, with a British stiff upper lip when they actually need to be allowed to get into their cocoons, allow the gloop to happen, heal, be nourished and heard and re-emerge as the butterflies they truly are x x x
The good news is that there are simple strategies that can reset and replenish your mind, body and spirit and I use my oils, cacao and daily rituals of walking in nature to support me to reduce the stress and calm my mind and can’t wait to share them with you too.
If you need to talk about this or it has triggered you in anyway please reach out and know you are HELD.
Reference; The Hormone Fix – Dr Anna Cabeca
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Oils to support your emotions if you recognise this could be you:
Clove – the oil of boundaries for feeling empowered, protected, courageous and capable.
Geranium – the oil of love and trust for emotional healing, forgiving and being open.
Helichrysum – the oil for pain for healing, feeling hopeful and transforming.
Jasmine – the oil of sexual purity and balance for supporting unresolved sexual trauma, innocence, healing and self acceptance.
Serenity – the blend of tranquility for peacefulness, tranquility, compassionate and connected.
Yarrow/ Pom – the oil of energetic safety for feeling protected, strong boundaries, safe, assisted, centred and able to relax and receive balance (plus it’s a FABulous oil for your skin – so you can be supporting yourself emotionally whilst you support your skin to look radiant – this is what I love about the oils)
Ylang Ylang – the oil of the inner child for feeling free, emotionally connected , joyful and innocent again.
If any of these resonate with you then please allow me to be your Essential Oil guide an support you on your journey back home to you.