Safety, then recovery. But really.

A lot of people associate doing things with healing. They read about exercises to stop the trauma reactions and work really hard at it.

Let’s remember – for some people in certain stages of recovery, these trauma reactions are the reason they feel any level of safety at all.

The healing starts by the slow process of realizing it’s not unsafe any more and then learning it’s safe even without these reactions.

If they are pushed by stigma or pressure or “therapy” to stop their traumatic reactions before they have another well-acquainted trusted way to feel safe, that experience is bound to become another trauma.

If someone is gripping onto a rope, and you objectively decide they are safe without it. If you pry their fingers off, they’ll actually experience a fall. For that 0.5 seconds to fall the technically-safe 2 feet, they experience near-death. They land on the ground safely, and you say “See! You didn’t die!” but you don’t know they actually experienced near-death in their mind.

Forget objective reality. You make it safe for them, or give a better rope, and once that reaches their mind, they’ll release. (Right here, when they’re ready to release but the proverbial fingers are cramped up and can’t release on their own, this is where therapies are effective, I believe.)

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