WARNING: Graphic Images
The sharp, jagged, metal fragments from an exploding bomb, grenade, or landmine are known as shrapnel.
Shrapnel wounds require special care. Initially, these are open puncture wounds, with impaled objects so hot that medical personnel are strictly advised to leave them in place. Pressure on shrapnel wounds must be avoided, as this will only cause more damage to surrounding tissues and organs.
After it cools, some shrapnel can be removed surgically . Often, however, surgery would do more harm than good. There may be hundreds or thousands of small objects.
Over the years, fragments left behind can migrate within the body, making them still harder to find and access. It is not unusual for shrapnel to remain imbedded for decades .
The same is true for trauma beliefs. When children undergo trauma, they experience strong emotions. Like scorching metal fragments, these searing emotions highlight the traumatic event.
But children, also, draw conclusions from trauma. This is their attempt to make sense of the world. Unfortunately, the conclusions children draw may not be accurate .
Since the traumatic event is not fully understood, the child cannot fully process it. Instead, the emotions and faulty conclusions surrounding the trauma remain sharp, jagged, and are re-experienced, again and again.
This happens even after conscious memory of the event has faded. Like shrapnel, trauma beliefs remain in the body, and continue to do harm.
False Core Beliefs
Having been abandoned as children, we may fear that others will leave us as adults. Having been abused as children, we may believe ourselves unworthy of love as adults. These core beliefs about ourselves and the world around us may never be vocalized, never questioned. But they are deeply held.
Trauma beliefs “feel” accurate not because they are, but because we have held them for so long . They “feel” protective, but are actually self-sabotaging .
Trauma beliefs start out as lies Satan exploits to separate us from God, and deny us the lives God wants for us. Eventually, they become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Trauma beliefs may tell us no good man will ever love us. Since relationships with good and decent men do not align with our ingrained belief system, such relationships feel foreign, flat. We do not recognize good men as potential partners, and do not respond to them.
Instead, we come to view ourselves as powerless and valueless; come to feel our lives will always be characterized by rejection and loss.
With time, we come to see ourselves solely as wounded. Mistaking our wounds for defects, we look to others for validation; look to others for the fulfillment only God can provide. And the emptiness inside us grows.
God has not, however, abandoned us. He heals and restores us to whole. He helps us to see that we are more than our past, more than our wounds. More than the trash many of us believe ourselves to be.
Trauma beliefs evidence the war zone we survived as children. They are tenacious. But they can be overcome.
 CNN,“Toll of Syria’s War: Baby Born with Shrapnel on Forehead” by Mohammed Tawfeek and Tasmin Amer, 9/24/15, http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/23/middleeast/syria-civil-war-baby-shrapnel-wound/.
 ABC News, “Shrapnel Dislodges from Man’s Jaw after 65 Years” by Rahda Chitale and ABC News Medical Unit, 5/29/09, http://abcnews.go.com/Health/PainManagement/story?id=7700186.
 The Trauma and Attachment Belief Scale (TABS) by Laurie Anne Pearlman, PhD is one way of assessing trauma beliefs. Participants are asked to rate the extent to which particular statements match their own beliefs. For instance, “I never think anyone is safe from danger” or “I feel cut off from people”.
 Childhood Trauma Recovery, “False Core Beliefs: Their Childhood Roots” by David Hosier MSc, 12/4/14, http://childhoodtraumarecovery.com/2014/12/04/false-core-beliefs-childhood-roots/.
 Self-sabotoging behaviors undermine our long-term goals, giving rise to problems of their own. Comfort eating and self-medication with drugs or alcohol are two common examples.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) has proven a helpful treatment for PTSD. For more information, see https://www.healthline.com/health/emdr-therapy.
FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com