Unveiling Trauma's Hidden Impact with Sunitha Sandeep

Ron, Deb and Sunitha Sandeep

Unveiling Trauma's Hidden Impact with Sunitha Sandeep

Ep. 66: Unveiling Trauma's Hidden Impact with Sunitha Sandeep

In today’s episode, we sat down with inner-transformative executive coach Sunitha, to explore the multi-dimensional aspect of understanding trauma and its effects, how to dismantle its harmful narratives, and how to progress towards post-traumatic growth.

Understanding Trauma and Its Effects

Sunitha explains how trauma is not just about the event itself but more importantly, about the subjective experience of that event and how it is processed by the individual's mental, emotional, and somatic capacities. 

Sunitha distinguishes between "big 'T' traumas" and "small 'T' traumas". Big 'T' traumas are those that are generally recognized as severely distressing events, such as sexual abuse, severe sickness, war, or a major catastrophe. Small 'T' traumas, on the other hand, might include emotional neglect during childhood, which can also have significant impacts on a person's life and well-being.

We investigate how trauma is not just about what happened externally, but also about the internal narratives we build around the event. When an individual experiences trauma, their mind may create stories or identities that can act as a shield, protecting them from revisiting painful feelings of guilt, shame, or fear. These narratives and identities can shape the individual's perception of themselves and the world, influencing their actions and relationships in profound ways.

Understanding Stuckness and Creating New Stories

Sunitha further explains that trauma is not only about the external event, but also about what we make up in our own heads about the experience. For example, a child might experience emotional neglect, causing a traumatic event because they don't know how to process and deal with their feelings. As a result, these emotions get suppressed, eventually leading to unconscious and repressed layers that can trigger various emotional responses in adulthood.

She highlights that these shields can be both positive and negative, but they are essentially stories or identities that individuals build and adhere to. These identities can often manifest as self-referential beliefs, like considering oneself a victim, which can further perpetuate the cycle of trauma.

Trauma Healing and Post-Traumatic Growth

In order to heal from trauma, Sunitha says it's essential to bring these stuck emotions and memories to the surface. She explains that this requires a certain level of presence and awareness, which can be cultivated through mindfulness practices, helping to unravel the stories we've created around our trauma.

Sunitha then suggests a radical approach. Instead of constructing new narratives to replace the old ones, she encourages listeners to eliminate all stories altogether. This approach allows individuals to experience life authentically and intuitively, without the influence of past narratives or identities. She explains that being present and aware can prevent individuals from getting lost in their traumas, fostering a state of self-discovery rather than self-development.

This process, she explains, can be quite transformative. By shedding our old identities and stories, we allow our inner intelligence to flow freely. This can lead to feelings of alignment and authenticity, and even foster a sense of inner joy.

One important point that Sunitha makes is that the journey towards healing from trauma is not a linear one. It involves ups and downs, and there may be times when we feel lost or overwhelmed. However, with self-awareness and a commitment to self-discovery, it's possible to navigate this complex terrain and foster post-traumatic growth.

Sunita shares her favorite books and sources to help listeners access the knowledge and tools available for their own trauma healing journey – which can be found on her website: https://www.sunithasandeep.com/

Join us to hear how understanding the idea of “self-talk” — and what you can do about it — could change your relationships and life for the better.

To learn more about the Imaginal Community: https://imaginalcommunity.mn.co/

Visit www.macklinconnection.com

Episode Summary

Unveiling Trauma's Hidden Impact with Sunitha Sandeep

Ron, Deb, and guest Sunitha Sandeep discuss how traumas shape us, how they manifest in our lives constructing shields that protect us, and how to break free from these self-created narratives and move towards a path of authenticity.