NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at firstname.lastname@example.org (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).
“What Are the ‘Invisible Injuries’ I’ve Suffered?”
UNDERSTAND the impact of my suffering.
Memorize: Isaiah 21:3-4 (ESV), “At this my body is racked with pain, pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor; I am staggered by what I hear, I am bewildered by what I see. My heart falters, fear makes me tremble; the twilight I longed for has become a horror to me” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:
- “At this” – Isaiah is responding to the vision of an attack that would have been as traumatic as any battle experience.
- “Body is racked” – Physically, Isaiah is affected with pain reactions that are as intense as anything he could imagine.
- “Staggered” – Cognitively, Isaiah is disoriented to the point that he is “bewildered” by what he sees.
- “My heart falters” – Emotionally, Isaiah is disturbed to the point that his hands and arms tremble in response.
- “Become a horror” – Narratively, Isaiah has come to the point that hope (twilight) no longer rejuvenates him.
“Any treatment approach that is not predicated on a basic comprehension of the nature of trauma in what it does to human beings will be ineffective and possibly harmful (p. 45)… Too often the survivor is seen by herself and others as ‘nuts,’ ‘crazy,’ or ‘weird,’ unless her responses are understood within the context of trauma (p. 68).” Diane Langberg in Counseling Survivors of Sexual Abuse
“Abuse feels like an experience that has stamped you and has the final word on your identity. But the truth is God gives you a different identity… Your identity as God’s child is far deeper than the abuse you suffered (p. 4).” David Powlison in Recovering from Child Abuse
“The most powerful determinant of psychological harm is the character of the traumatic event itself. Individual personality characteristics count for little in the face of overwhelming events. There is a simple, direct relationship between the severity of the trauma and its psychological impact, whether that impact is measured in terms of the number of people affected or the intensity and duration of harm (p. 57)… Trauma appears to amplify the common gender stereotypes: men with histories of childhood abuse are more likely to take out their aggressions on others, while women are more likely to be victimized by others or to injure themselves (p. 113).” Judith Hermann in Trauma and Recovery
“We must be very careful to avoid blaming abuse victims for their traumatic symptoms… Effects of trauma are not consciously chosen by the victim. Abuse victims do not choose to have amnesia, nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks, or increased heart rates. At the same time, as adults, we all must come to the point of taking responsibility for our unhealthy patterns of behavior. Abuse victims often do choose to deaden themselves in response to their pain instead of turning to God for strength and healing (p. 104).” Steven R. Tracy in Mending the Soul
“A child is emotionally unable to refuse, modify, or detoxify a parent’s abusive projections. The power differential is too great and the projections too toxic and overwhelming. Furthermore, the child actually lives in the emotional world and fantasy life of the parent. This is the child’s reality (p. 322).” Richard T Frazier in “The Subtle Violations—Abuse and the Projection of Shame” in Pastoral Psychology
“The image of being without talent, mediocre, average, or worse is a self-serving, self-protective evaluation used for a purpose: it provides the victim with a contemptuous explanation for not being able to halt the pain (p. 116)…. Many times the chronic patterns of lying or deceit, and to abused persons arise because of a forsaken history that forces them to concoct a past and a present that has no connection to their abused soul (p. 113).” Dan Allender in Wounded Heart