Shrapnel – Trauma Beliefs

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 [1].  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 [2].

Trauma Beliefs

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 [3].

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 [4].  They “feel” protective, but are actually self-sabotaging [5].


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.

[1]  CNN,“Toll of Syria’s War: Baby Born with Shrapnel on Forehead” by Mohammed Tawfeek and Tasmin Amer, 9/24/15,

[2]  ABC News, “Shrapnel Dislodges from Man’s Jaw after 65 Years” by Rahda Chitale and ABC News Medical Unit, 5/29/09,

[3]  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”.

[4]  Childhood Trauma Recovery, “False Core Beliefs: Their Childhood Roots” by David Hosier MSc, 12/4/14,

[5]  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



Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

11 responses to “Shrapnel – Trauma Beliefs

  1. Dear Anna,

    As soon as I read shrapnel and the wounds it may cause in the body, I was reminded of my granddad (my dad’s dad) who had come back from Russia after WW II with such metal fragments in his body, especially in one of his arms. I remember that he often had great pains in that arm, particularly when the weather had changed. It was impossible for doctors to remove those countless pieces of shrapnel because they would be delved into his flesh way too deeply. Also, he could not use his arm as he could before since both tissue and nerves had been destroyed by the shrapnel.

    I can only imagine what this might mean for someone who had to undergo traumatic experiences in their childhood… Nothing is worse than that, I believe. 😦

    Much love ❤

  2. Reblogged this on Cyber Support Group and commented:
    This is oh so true. The Lord is our Healer if we will ask, we will receive.

  3. Anna, I totally relate to what you wrote about the false value system we take on when we have been betrayed, forsaken, abused and not loved in our childhood. This false image of ourselves DOES get in the way of relationships with others in our later adult lives and causes us to sabotage positive relationships that start to happen as we think that we are not worthy of being loved in an unconditional way. Somehow we must come to the place that we see ourselves as totally loved by our Father in heaven and have people in our lives that will not let our reactions stop them from loving us through our healing process.

    Thanks for sharing your hard earned insights with us. ❤

  4. That is a good analogy…
    sad, but comparable :-/ ♥ ❤

  5. Anna, I’ve been working hard to get my new book published, “Wake Up America–or Die! YOU Must Save America and the Family.” In the process, the book has attracted 21 strong endorsements, 12 of which have national profiles.

    One of the national endorsers, Dr. Judith Reisman, invited me to coauthor a book with her. Of course, I was thrilled. The coauthored book is complete and on its way to a publisher. The title is, “Stolen Honor; Stolen Innocence; Stolen Family; Stolen America–Recovered America.”

    I mentioned the books because you may be familiar with Dr. Reisman. She’s the one who exposed Dr. Alfred Kinsey as a total fraud. She has also devoted her life to combating pornography and child sexploitation in any form. In so doing, she has worked with four presidential administrations, testified before the U.S. Senate on several occasions, written at least six books, and appeared as an expert witness in nearly 30 trials. Are you familiar with her work?

    Enjoy an awesome and blessed day!

    • I am so happy for you, Dr. Stebbins! I wish you much success with the books.

      I’ve come to believe that success is not measured by readership alone. As writers, we all long for an audience. But the truth is not always well-received, especially by a fallen culture. Remember that the impact a writer can have on a single life is incalculable.

      I respect and admire you, Dr. Stebbins. I am sure your efforts will be rewarded by the Lord.



      • Anna, you said it so well,

        I’ve come to believe that success is not measured by readership alone. As writers, we all long for an audience. But the truth is not always well-received, especially by a fallen culture. Remember that the impact a writer can have on a single life is incalculable.

        Indeed, God’s view of ‘success’ is so different from what this world wants to offer us. Was Jesus’ life successful in what we might call success? No career as a king (as yet), no written words directly from Him, no family and thus no posterity, either. No fame as long as he was on earth, but today Jesus is the most famous man who ever lived. Why? Because He obeyed God in everything and thus His works had an immeasurable eternal value as the following Scripture confirms.

        For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 Jn 2:16-17 ESV)

        With love ❤

      • Thank you for commenting, Susanne. You always contribute something valuable to the conversation.

        With love,

        Anna ❤

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.