Pulling The Thread of Trauma - Cari Kenzie

Pulling The Thread of Trauma

Harry Potter is the comfort Zone in my home. We are huge Harry Potter fans, so it’s natural that I use a device from The Goblet of Fire to explain the way I approach how our mind works.

Too often, we look at a situation and in trying to resolve or understand why that experience is happening, we look at it linearly. We try to draw a direct line between what we’re feeling and the experience we’re having. Instead I see the experience as an entry into the maze of the mind.

What happens to us and our interpretation of it is not only an experience. It’s a spiderweb or maze that needs to be navigated all the way to its source. To fully understand the experience, we need to discover the initial misperception, injury, or creation of the limiting belief, in order to disassemble the pattern that’s been created.

When we look at things from a single source perspective, we don’t get anywhere. Often, clients will have different conversations with me about all the things that are happening, and these conversations all go on simultaneously. They’ll recount their weekend, talk about relationships or conversations they have had, but then get around to what they really want to talk about…an experience they’ve had. They’ll say something like, “I’m really upset about this, this thing is going on at work, I don’t know how to get beyond it.” I’ll ask a question about that particular situation, and that provides an entry point. “Tell me how you’re feeling. Why did you respond that way?” They’ll answer something like “I was irritated. I was angry. I felt like he didn’t hear me.”

Now we’re getting somewhere. So I’ll ask, “When was the last conversation you remember having when someone didn’t hear you?” In asking this, I take their entry into the maze and ask a question that’s going to point either left or right. Then they might say, “Six months ago we were in this meeting and I brought something up to my boss and nothing happened. Nothing. But three weeks later somebody else brings up the idea and it’s the best idea in the world.”

Now the answers start to lead somewhere else. I might ask, “How long have you felt not seen? How long have you felt invisible?” Then they’ll say something like, “There was this time in high school…”. Now we’ve turned left and I can keep on asking questions until we find ourselves all the way back to the instigating moment when they first felt they were invisible, not worthy of being seen.

Eventually, we get back to that initial space, and it may not be the feeling of invisibility – it can be many things, but always profound in the context of their lives – but when we get there, we pull up a thread. This is the thread connecting all the experiences, from those in the conversation to the key instigator and all the ones afterward. We then pull the thread. And when we pull it, the maze collapses, and suddenly we have a clean view from which you’re able to see everything all around. That initial experience is the instigator, an opportunity to enter into the maze in order to find the source of that limitation so that it can be released.

That’s the mind maze. It’s easy to imagine how this works. We already know that our mind takes twists and turns, but we don’t often allow ourselves to connect them and, when necessary, to dismantle them, to clear the way.