Understanding the Energetic Anatomy and Contagion of Trauma
Updated: Apr 6
This post focuses mostly on trauma in the form of physical (including sexual), emotional and spiritual abuse. While some of the insights herein are commonly appreciated in the psychology and psychiatry disciplines, the approach here focuses on the energetic underpinnings of observed challenges which are common to abuse victims. These insights are derived both from my work with clients and my observations of energetic form which lodged in my own field after that work. The latter phenomenon, while inconvenient, and possibly itself rooted in personal power deficits that I was experiencing at the time, was nonetheless helpful to understanding how trauma and its tentacles can be contagious.
Key Elements of the Energetic Anatomy of Trauma
The psychological imprint of shame is the most damaging of the emotions caused by abuse. When that imprint is not fully released, shame will generate through the subconscious and unconscious minds the energies and behavioral patterns of sabotage and self-sabotage. The client will often harbor, not always consciously, a deep sense of being unlovable and the energy of the heart will often be inverted such that giving and receive love does not come effortlessly. In some cases, the client may feel that they are giving out a lot of love energy but this energy may not be fully experienced or appreciated by others. This in turn may cause them to try harder to please others and to subvert their own needs, thereby causing further self disempowerment.
The energy of the trauma itself often cords the victim-survivor to the collective unconscious which can manifest as an ongoing sense of mental noise, and a feeling of ungrounded-ness. This is compounded by the shadow self of the perpetrator which as a separate energetic form can become part of the victim-survivor's energetic makeup. Once again, the effect is to invert the victim-survivor to their own inner wisdom and possibly to the world around, making moments of ease and flow difficult to experience outside of very controlled environments.
On a soul level, abuse can cause a core soul wounding or a rupture of the soul. It an also cause the soul to partially leave the body. Somewhat counter-intuitively, in victim-survivors who have developed sophisticated coping mechanisms, symptoms of a core soul wounding or soul rupture may manifest as a desire to deflect negative emotions or sublimate them - on the surface they may seem calm and well-adjusted however their interior lives may be dominated by mental noise generated by this coping mechanism. They may also espouse an overly optimistic worldview, ignoring some fundamental, difficult realities which they find overwhelming to engage with. In so doing, they are unwittingly eclipsing their own power which can only fully manifest when all emotions are experienced and honored and any darkness within the soul (perhaps just the energy of the trauma itself) which is causing the core soul wounding or rupture is acknowledged and worked through. In other words, personal power will not be total unless the heart, representing the emotional center of the body, and the soul are unified.
As noted above, the energetic anatomy of abuse which lodges in the victim-survivor's energetic field, leads to patterns of belief and behavior which are sometimes destructive (self-sabotage etc.) but in other victim-survivors may manifest more subtly as a failure to thrive with ease (commensurate with their talents and the strong light of their being) in one or a few parts of their life. Later on, it is likely to take on negative physical manifestations in the body.
The Contagion of Trauma
The energetic anatomy of abuse can also negatively influence other people - friends and family - of the victim-survivor, particularly if those individuals are not fully in their personal power.
In particular, the energetic forms of sabotage and self-sabotage and well as the emotions of shame and jealousy are commonly transferred unwittingly to others. There may also be an unconscious energetic habit of snuffing out the light, light body or life energy force of another. To be sure, this is in no way the victim-survivor's fault but the energy of the trauma that they have experienced as well as "knock-on" energy that their subconscious and unconscious minds have generated because of the trauma, may seed all of their relationships as well as their relationship to themselves. In a sense, the unresolved and unreleased energy of trauma with all of its energetic tentacles, can be contagious. Commonly, this is appreciated in perhaps its extreme manifestation when victims become abusers however the astute practitioner should also be aware of much more subtle energetic impact on others.
If we understand the contagion of trauma, it is perhaps easier to appreciate how conflict in these relationships can have deep and tangled roots in shared fields of disempowerment caused by the trauma experienced by the victim-survivor. Focusing on cognitive insight and behavioral change alone as in most forms of cognitive behavioral therapy, might be insufficient to fully empower each party. Somatic release of the trauma in addition, may hold more promise.
The Pathway To Restructuring Energetic Anatomy
As previous posts have noted, one of the first steps healing and wholeness is to return ourselves to our personal power. The process for so doing is often not linear and involves peeling off many layers of trauma, conditioning, and limiting beliefs as well as consciously aligning ourselves with the Divine Feminine and Source energies. It is a mix of what may be perceived as more conventional psychological work with somatic release, as well as spiritual work both of which can be conducted in the framework of an energy healing modality, while understanding of course that it is not a substitute for conventional therapy.
Restoring the heart as the center of emotional processing is part of the same process but might also be seen as a distinct progressive step. Avoiding the machinations of the mind and instead feeling emotions in the core of the body, facilitates more immediate processing and leaves less likelihood that they will get stuck. Releasing the unhelpful parts of the mind from this process also facilitates a more direct connection with the inspiration of our higher selves, particularly when we can use those feelings to more deeply understand our personal truths.
Finally, the soul must be fully welcomed into the body, any core soul wounding released and the soul itself encouraged to its highest evolution in this lifetime. Again this is an implicit part of the aforementioned process but also a distinct step in its own right which involves self-compassion and deep-reflection practices to help us fully honor the power, beauty and grace of our individual embodiment of the Collective One.