Let's talk about the inner experience of someone who has gone through trauma. Imagine the individual’s body as a home. For most people, life is lived in the main areas, with occasional visits to private spaces for reflection and self-awareness, but all the areas of the home are connected and integrated. The individual is able to move freely and easily from space to space, without losing their connection to the rest of the home.
However, the traumatized individual’s inner “home” is no longer safe or secure. Their brain constructs a long, dark corridor, a passageway into a closed-off, isolated room from which the individual can observe life, but is not connected to it. Life goes on in the main part of the house while the individual watches from a “safe” and unreachable distance. A hologram of themselves may be projected into the main area to give others the impression that they are present and participating, but the individual is emotionally shut down and unavailable. They can no longer access or move freely through the rest of their home.
Dr. Donna E. Lane is a Christian Counselor who specializes in trauma, grief, and loss, along with the depression and anxiety often resulting from these experiences. She has been a counselor since 1979, and has owned her practice since 1993. She is co-author of the internationally-acclaimed trauma treatment resource, Trauma Narrative Treatment, and the accompanying story, Gold Stone. She is also the co-author of Strength in Adversity, a Biblical study on walking through difficulty with Christ.