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Overcoming Barriers. Introduction People just like us – Bible characters. We do not have the corner on the market. The Bible is full of examples of godly.

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Presentation on theme: "Overcoming Barriers. Introduction People just like us – Bible characters. We do not have the corner on the market. The Bible is full of examples of godly."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overcoming Barriers

2 Introduction People just like us – Bible characters. We do not have the corner on the market. The Bible is full of examples of godly people who had bad things happen to them.

3 Introduction Shipwrecked (a day and a night in the deep) Shipwrecked (a day and a night in the deep) Sawn asunder Sawn asunder Beheaded (Rev. 7) Beheaded (Rev. 7) Incest (Amnon and Tamar) Incest (Amnon and Tamar) Betrayal by family (Absalom tried to overthrow his father as king) Betrayal by family (Absalom tried to overthrow his father as king) Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Ethiopian – castrated (Daniel 1 and Acts 8) Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Ethiopian – castrated (Daniel 1 and Acts 8) Rape (Tamar) Rape (Tamar) Beatings (39 stripes on several occasions) Beatings (39 stripes on several occasions) Starvation to point of cannibalism (Jerusalem besieged twice) Starvation to point of cannibalism (Jerusalem besieged twice) Death of first born ( at birth of Jesus) Death of first born ( at birth of Jesus) One son kills another – Cain/Abel; Absalom/Amnon One son kills another – Cain/Abel; Absalom/Amnon Financial reversals (Job) Financial reversals (Job) Death of 10 children at once (Job) Death of 10 children at once (Job) To name a few things (Heb. 11) To name a few things (Heb. 11)

4 Introduction Yet, God’s people moved past these things. How? – They trusted God. – They looked for a better life beyond. – They trusted that God is the avenger of evil. Vengeance is His. – Prayer, Trust, Hope, and knowing that He is Faithful.

5 Introduction The ways of Satan continue into our day. People are highly resilient and able to bounce back from just about anything. But, traumatic experiences can have a severe and long-lasting effect well into adulthood if they are left unresolved.

6 Introduction Extreme experiences that can make a person regardless of age, feel helpless or that disrupt a sense of safety and security include: Sexual Sexual Physical or verbal abuse Physical or verbal abuse Domestic violence Domestic violence Unstable or unsafe environment Unstable or unsafe environment Separation from a parent(s) Separation from a parent(s) Neglect Neglect Bullying Bullying Serious illness Serious illness Intrusive medical procedures Intrusive medical procedures

7 Introduction Many survive childhood without such experiences, yet in adulthood may encounter trauma: Domestic violence Domestic violence Robbery Robbery Assault Assault Rape Rape Military Military Witnessing a untoward event Witnessing a untoward event Accidents Accidents

8 Introduction In surviving an event, the process is to try to stay alive. But, in the process of flight/fight/freeze the emotions of the moment are often shutdown in favor of staying alive.

9 Introduction The person lives, but the emotional response gets locked and remains in “unfinished business” tucked in the back of the person’s mind. “Intrusive thoughts, dreams, and flashbacks” are frequently unwelcome invader.

10 Aftermath Of Unresolved Trauma Attachment And Relationships – Especially if the trauma is in a family setting, the close relationship with a caregiver cannot be overestimated. It is in these bonding relationships that trust is learned, emotions are regulated, interaction with the world is defined, perceptions of the world as safe or unsafe, and understanding of ones’ self worth.

11 Aftermath Of Unresolved Trauma Attachment And Relationships – When these systems are disrupted, self-image and world view can be significantly shifted. – The results: difficulty maintaining a strong healthy bond with caregiver/partner. More vulnerable to stress, trouble controlling and expressing emotions, violent or inappropriate responses to situations, potential problems in relationships and friendships.

12 Aftermath Of Unresolved Trauma Physical Health: Body and Brain – When one is stuck in fear, constant or extreme stress, the immune system and body’s stress responses are thrown off balance. – Results can be seen in: panic attacks, rapid breathing/heart pounding, headaches/stomachaches, chronic physical conditions/problems, risky behaviors that compound these conditions.

13 Aftermath Of Unresolved Trauma Emotional Responses – Difficulty identifying, expressing and managing emotions. – Due to internalizing and/or externalizing stress reactions may experience significant depression, anxiety, or anger. – Emotional responses may be unpredictable or explosive.

14 Aftermath Of Unresolved Trauma Emotional Responses – May be periods of trembling, anger, sadness or avoidance due to unfinished business. – Cognitive distortions - If the world is “unsafe” (learned or perceived from the trauma) then even loved ones “can’t be trusted to protect you”. – Easily overwhelmed.

15 Aftermath Of Unresolved Trauma Dissociation – Disconnect or mentally separate self from the experience. – May feel surreal or “like they are on the ceiling or somewhere else watching.” – Frequent “spacing out, daydreaming, not attentive.”

16 Aftermath Of Unresolved Trauma Cognition – Feeling like he/she is in a fog, “fuzzy.” – Difficulty thinking clearly, reasoning or problem solving. – May be incorrectly identified as “learning disabled.”

17 Aftermath Of Unresolved Trauma Self-Concept – Common feelings: shame, guilt, low self-esteem, poor self-image. – May report feeling like “damaged goods” – This can result in poor boundaries (once a boundary is violated, it is difficult to know where the boundary is in an impulsive mind). – With weak self-value, hope and purpose for the future can be skewed.

18 Aftermath Of Unresolved Trauma Long Term Health Consequences – There is a connection between unresolved trauma and promiscuity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia. The connection perhaps is tied to the “weak organ theory” (i.e. the weakest link in a chain breaks first, unhealthy patterns in self-care can have long term consequences).

19 Aftermath Of Unresolved Trauma Long Term Health Consequences – Low self-image can result in low impulse control, risky behaviors or “being able to be talked into things easily” (tendency to live in the extremes of people pleasing vs people avoidance).

20 Aftermath Of Unresolved Trauma Economic Impact – Data from a variety of sources estimate the annual cost of trauma, abuse and neglect is $103.8 billion (ER, Care Centers, Medications, Therapy, Legal, Fatalities, etc.). – Intangible costs: pain, sorrow, reduced quality of life to survivors and their families.

21 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Acknowledge and recognize the trauma for what it is but “Our light affliction is but for a moment” – Some spend years minimizing the event or dismissing it by pretending it did not happen. – Succumbing to feelings of guilt or self-blame. – This may be a “normal response to an abnormal situation.” – Healing come with acknowledgement. So, does pain. There is no growth without pain.

22 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Reclaim control – Believe God is in charge – Feelings of helplessness can carry well into adulthood and can help a person respond to life as a “perpetual victim”. – When in a victim role, the past is in control of the present. – But, when the pain of the past is faced and resolved, the present is controlled by you.

23 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Reclaim control – Believe God is in charge – Surrounding the event of the trauma, a series of old defenses and crutches evolved to help navigate the trauma. – Learning to let go of the defenses and crutches and learning new ways of acceptance can help to reclaim control in one’s life now and heal the pain.

24 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Seek support and do not isolate yourself (Romans 12:15; James 5:16; Eph. 4:2). – A natural instinct in trauma is to withdraw from others, but this only makes things worse.

25 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Seek support and do not isolate yourself (Romans 12:15; James 5:16; Eph. 4:2). – A big part of healing is to connect with other people (peers in trauma, understanding family, therapist, support groups). You are not alone. Normalizing responses to abnormal situations is vital in stabilizing the trauma and moving past it.

26 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Take care of your health (Romans 12:1,2). – Your ability to cope with stress will increase if you are healthy. – Be kind to yourself – plenty of rest, well- balanced diet, regular exercise are in order.

27 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Take care of your health (Romans 12:1,2). – Sometimes, when trauma happens to a smaller person he/she gets stuck on the need to be “big” so the trauma does not recur. “Big” often means overeating and weighing more.

28 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Learn the true meaning of acceptance and letting go (book of Philippians esp. 4:13) – Just because you accept something does not mean you like it or agree with it. – Acceptance means you have decided what you are going to do with it. – You can decide to let it rule your life or you can decide to let it go.

29 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Learn the true meaning of acceptance and letting go (book of Philippians esp. 4:13) – Letting go means no longer allowing your bad memories and feelings of the past to rob you of living a good life now. – You will likely need to revisit the past from time to time, but you do not have to live there.

30 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Replace bad habits with good ones (Eph. 4:22-24) – “Reaction formation” can occur in many forms as a coping strategy when feelings become too hard to bear. Negativity Negativity Mistrust of others Mistrust of others Alcohol/drugs Alcohol/drugs Promiscuity Promiscuity Somatic illnesses Somatic illnesses Other, like cutting, acting out or acting in, etc. Other, like cutting, acting out or acting in, etc.

31 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Replace bad habits with good ones (Eph. 4:22-24) – Maladaptive behaviors may have served to appease the initial trauma, but when used as crutches now they can help one to avoid addressing and healing the pain and trauma of the past experience(s). Support groups can help with developing new tools that actually work. Support groups can help with developing new tools that actually work.

32 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Replace bad habits with good ones (Eph. 4:22-24) – Maladaptive behaviors may have served to appease the initial trauma, but when used as crutches now they can help one to avoid addressing and healing the pain and trauma of the past experience(s). Therapist and/or wise counselors can re- enforce the same. Therapist and/or wise counselors can re- enforce the same.

33 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Replace bad habits with good ones (Eph. 4:22- 24) – Maladaptive behaviors may have served to appease the initial trauma, but when used as crutches now they can help one to avoid addressing and healing the pain and trauma of the past experience(s). Self-disclosure of thoughts and feelings in a safe environment are critical to recovery. Self-disclosure of thoughts and feelings in a safe environment are critical to recovery.

34 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Replace bad habits with good ones (Eph. 4:22-24) – Be patient with yourself (James 5:8; Rom. 5:4). When one has been seriously hurt with trauma, he/she can develop out of control emotions, hopelessness, defense mechanisms and warped perceptions that are difficult to let go of. When one has been seriously hurt with trauma, he/she can develop out of control emotions, hopelessness, defense mechanisms and warped perceptions that are difficult to let go of.

35 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Replace bad habits with good ones (Eph. 4:22-24) – Be patient with yourself (James 5:8; Rom. 5:4). Things do get better – not by avoiding, but by facing – stepping back – facing – stepping back, etc. as new tools are learned. Things do get better – not by avoiding, but by facing – stepping back – facing – stepping back, etc. as new tools are learned.

36 Seven Ways To Cope With Trauma Replace bad habits with good ones (Eph. 4:22-24) – Be patient with yourself (James 5:8; Rom. 5:4). Honor your progress, no matter how small it may seem. Enough “little victories” can result in winning the war and putting the enemy in his place. Honor your progress, no matter how small it may seem. Enough “little victories” can result in winning the war and putting the enemy in his place.

37 Conclusion When the “unthinkable” happens, trauma is the result for many Some rebound rather quickly (3 out of 4) with little to no help 1 out of 4 (25%) have enduring effects

38 Conclusion The differences: the intensity, meaning, duration and triggers associated with the trauma. People can and do get better. There is hope. Recovery is possible.

39 Conclusion Romans 12:12 – the answers for us are the same for those who suffered trauma throughout the entire Bible. We are no different than they – the solutions are the same for us and they were for them!

40


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