What is an identity trauma

Identity trauma is often the first trauma in a person's life. It often arises during or shortly after conception or during the mother's pregnancy, for example when she sleeps with a man although she does not feel like it, does not love her partner, is raped or feels compelled for other reasons, to have a child without her heartily wanting it. It is essential that she does not really want conception or the baby itself. And often the father only wants sexual intercourse, but not the child that results from it.

A pure identity trauma thus arises from the fact that the child is not wholeheartedly wanted, the sexual act occurs without love and / or the mother of the pregnancy and the future child is ambivalent about it only for functional or other reasons (e.g. to save the partnership, so as not to be alone etc.), has thoughts of abortion, actually tries to have an abortion or if loved ones seek to exit early (e.g. by kicks in the stomach). A mother or person does all of this mainly because they have suffered an identity trauma themselves.

For a child, this means, among other things, that it resides in a body that is reluctant to take it in, yes, would like to reject it and wrest all of the essentials of life from it, endure the defensive feelings of the mother, even attempting to leave must survive.

In short: for such a child, life is a single exertion from the very beginning. Nothing can be taken for granted. Everything has to be worked hard. His motto is therefore: Close your eyes and go through. Endure - come what may. Just don't give up. Have no unnecessary needs. Get along with little or nothing. Make myself very small, offer little surface to attack, ideally not be there at all. And that is exactly what it expects from others later: to give everything and not ask for anything, to identify completely with the environment, to be in service to it. The helper syndrome is easy to find here.

Of course, under these circumstances, childbirth is not a pleasure either, since a body that refused to accommodate the baby will not be cooperative at birth either. This often leads to medical emergency measures: the use of the suction cup, forceps, incision, fall or premature birth.

In short: a purely functional, cold, unemotional and often even life-threatening birth. The previous trauma is exacerbated by the birth trauma. And afterwards: No tender welcome, no smile from the mother, no sensitive body contact, but being provided with the bare essentials out of a sense of duty or lack of a better choice. And sometimes not even that.

A client told me how hard she had tried to leave the birth canal when she was born, but the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, she was almost suffocated and was only literally drawn into life through the help of the doctors. “I felt so dependent and weak. I couldn't have done it without help. This is exactly how I felt later and again: dependent, unable to get my life right, to separate myself, to stand up for my needs. ”In the truest sense of the word, the“ born victim ”.

I told her that this type of birth often happens to women who don't really want their child. And in fact it turned out in the further conversation: Her mother told her that it had been planned, but she felt from the beginning that it was not wanted. The mother had to marry under pressure from her father, although she would have preferred a job and when she was married she was told that it was now her job to have children. She dutifully but joylessly accepted the role she was supposed to be.

All of this shows how important a loving relationship between the mother and herself as well as the love for the husband and the joy of the child - both during conception, during pregnancy, at birth and afterwards - is for the well-being and prosperity of the child. An unwanted child is enormously burdened - for his entire life - and in turn burdens his children with it. Of course, in the case described above, the treatment after the birth is also loveless. At best, the parents are indifferent, if not negative, hostile, or even violent. A child with such parents knows little or no security, human warmth, no sensitive approach to his needs.

It often freezes even before birth, separates itself completely from itself and is therefore extremely unstable and hungry for attention, recognition and love, at the same time constantly on the lookout for potential deficiencies, verbal and physical attacks. It learns to bend, adapt, and subordinate - in order to survive. It cannot develop its own needs or desires, its own will, let alone express it, yes, feels great shame that it lives and has needs at all. And this shame must also be hidden so that nobody notices how he is really doing.

Such a child feels like a burden for the parents and often tries from an early age to become independent, not to need anything, best of all: not to be there at all. Such people cannot allow themselves or others to be tender, weak, small or needy, let alone take good care of themselves, laugh, enjoy, feel joy - just like that. For such people, life is struggle, renunciation, achievement at any price - joyless and barren.

Identity trauma also includes all those experiences in which essential characteristics are rejected, i.e. H. when it is not wanted as it is. For example, if the mother distrusts the gender of her child, be it because she rejects her own gender, the male is preferred or she associates experiences with men with abuse and wants to protect herself from them. I know many cases in which a girl was raised like a boy because the father actually wanted a son.

Such a person feels rejected, wrong, not good enough all his life. He lives in a kind of victim and reproach attitude towards himself and his environment.

If the mother rejects the male gender of her son because of her own experiences of violence with men, this also has enormous consequences for his further life. Her body as well as her psyche convey messages to him in the womb like: “You shouldn't be a man. You are a threat to me You are not right the way you are. "

Or she will finally see in him the protector and admirer she has always wanted. This means that from an early age he is assigned a role that he has to fulfill - whether he wants it or not. So he is never free to be himself. And above all: it must not be sexual, as this poses a threat to the traumatized mother. The result is enormous uncertainty, fear and shame towards one's own gender. This in turn, of course, also affects his relationships with women.

Another, often later, form of identity trauma arises when a child is ignored for various reasons - as if it does not even exist. For example, one client reported that his father physically abused him as a child and then treated him as if he were air, because the father deeply (re) traumatized not only his son but also himself through this act (perpetrator trauma) and now denied this act with all his might from himself and others by hiding the existence of his son from himself or conveying the message to him: “Just don't be there. I don't want you to remind me of what I did. Woe to you, make yourself noticeable! "

Another, later form exists if the child does not correspond to the ideas of the mother and / or the father in other respects, for example physically, mentally or in some other way and is therefore rejected. For example, I had a client who, as a child, had to be given medical care and operated on from a very early age, and I felt that his parents, v. a. his mother, therefore perceived him as shapeless, was ashamed of him and secretly rejected him for his apparent physical deficits. Especially parents who suffered identity trauma as a child pass this type of trauma on to their children.

The result are beliefs like “I must not be who I am. I failed just because I was who I am. I am not allowed to be. I am not enough. I am worthless. I am wrong."

A child who learns from an early age that it is not wanted from the start or not wanted as it is must develop a strong fighting spirit, the will to survive and a false identity in order to survive. It has to forcibly suppress its own feelings, needs and desires, its tenderness and hurt, constantly prove itself, its right to exist and do everything in order to be recognized, not punished, rejected, abandoned or at least not eliminated. In other words, life is deeply dangerous to him.

Since such a person learns from an early age to deny himself, even as an adult he tends to subordinate himself without criticism and to identify with everything that promises support, belonging, affection, security and security: work, family, religion, party, Facebook group, leaders, their own country or the company they work for, an association, their partner, property, power, success, recognition, money - everything serves as a means of identification and survival.

This type of identification is often not only supported by our society, but actually demanded: Of course, companies, superiors or Facebook readers assume that you subordinate your own needs to those of the company / superiors, the party, family, partner or group that you have to constantly improve your performance, become better, faster, more efficient, more selfless and more self-sacrificing, etc. If you do not meet these expectations, you will be cut, bullied, excluded, unemployed - all of which indicate how widespread the trauma is. In fact, I assume that a great many, if not all, will be affected.

His attention is therefore with others, less with himself, rather alert and at the same time searching outside. Such a person naturally also identifies with their relationships, in which they lose themselves and re-enact their trauma. Since he neither knows nor feels himself, he has to satisfy his needs through others. He therefore tends to have excessive expectations of others and himself - the cause of an infinite number of conflicts and even violence. So he does a lot, sometimes even everything that is expected of him, just in order not to be abandoned again.

So he does not do what gives him pleasure, does good and corresponds to the desires of his heart and thus leaves himself again and again. This leads to enormous, suppressed anger, which of course - within his partnerships, his professional or political environment - is projected to the outside and has to be re-enacted. And a constant feeling of lack and unfulfilledness.

The latter, in turn, sooner or later leads to a love trauma as well as emotional and / or sexual abuse, since his lack of ability to feel himself and his limits, to stand up for what he really wants, as well as his desperate hunger for affection and the Try to cover up your own emptiness and neediness, which others like to take advantage of. And of course he also uses sexuality and partnership himself to catch up on the closeness and intimacy never or rarely experienced in his first relationships with his parents, to reduce stress or to re-enact the rejection he has experienced.

So he makes and does an infinite amount of things - in order to finally suffice, finally to be happy, to be powerful and to belong and is never or almost never with himself. And since he doesn't know, feel, don't know what he really is, seeks and needs, he often feels - despite a myriad of survival and distraction mechanisms, deeply lonely, lost, restless, needy, empty, resigned, full of shame, pain and fear - but is not allowed to admit this for anything in the world. In extreme cases, suicidal tendencies are the logical consequence and the last re-enactment of unwanted life.

Identity trauma is also gladly passed on to the next generation, other dependents, employees, colleagues, partners, animals, etc. and also have a major influence on the way people treat the earth and its inhabitants. Identity trauma also play a major role in society, in regional, national and international politics. Because no healthy person voluntarily works forty hours or even more a week. No healthy voter elects unscrupulous, money-hungry and power-hungry representatives, no parliament made up of mentally healthy people elects a president who does not represent the interests of the people. And no healthy politician supports laws that damage the environment, discriminate against people or drive them into poverty.

Logical, right?

Ideally, however, a person discovers at some point that nothing he does or does, regardless of who or what he is attached to, how powerful, rich, successful or recognized he is, will satisfy him. In other words, he discovers that in this way he does not find what he longs for so much: his true identity. And his healthy parts take responsibility for the fulfillment of his longings, desires, for his dissatisfaction and his (seeming) unfulfilled. So he goes in search of what he really is: Silence, unconditional love, infinitely wide space in the form of a human being - with all his traumatic experiences and feelings, which are recognized, experienced, held, brought to an end and want to be integrated.

Ideally, at some point he will meet someone who has already experienced and embodied for years what or who he really is, and who at the same time has sufficient (including his own!) Experience and competence in the physical, emotional, mental and transpersonal accompaniment of Identity trauma and the course of such healing processes and therefore does not / no longer have to fend off or re-stage them with his clients. Because such people are unfortunately still extremely rare.

The aim of my work is therefore to spread the knowledge and awareness of trauma and its effects so that all people become more aware of themselves and their issues, integrate their trauma, awaken from it, embody the awakening and thereby carry others away or maybe even be able to provide competent support during this process.

In short: Wouldn't it be amazing if all that general knowledge were and z. For example, a potential candidate for political office would first have to prove that he knows his traumas and their effects well and therefore no longer needs to act them out on the political or even international stage, yes, perhaps even on a kind of regular basis at this point Supervision?

You could say that in this way I would like to contribute to a freer, friendly and lively world in which all people feel safe or to which they like to belong - especially myself - and to an earth on which the generations after us will also be can still live healthy and fulfilled.

(from: (Un) finally free! - Trauma as a gateway to freedom "by Gabriele Rudolph)