The Patterns of Trauma

You may have wondered why the same (bad) things happen to you over and over. Perhaps why you attract the same kind of guy or girl into your life. You get the same shitty job or find people mis-treating you no matter where you go.

A short (and slightly incorrect) answer would be karma, but it’s not far from the truth.

The thing is, trauma happens in patterns.

Now, for our purposes, “trauma” refers to anything which has upset you, to whatever degree.

So sure, it can be major things – mass murder, gang rape, etc. It can also be fairly minor things – someone at work getting under your skin, the particular way you don’t get on with your mother, and so on.

The point is just that the situation has upset you (I’ve previously written about how to identify trauma).

For an example, let’s say something mildly awful happened to you when you were a kid. Of course, you can look back now, as an adult and say “so what”, but you were a kid at the time, which meant it felt like the end of the world. This is very common.



Here’s what typically happens:

That trauma will stick with us. We’ll think about it, worry about it, stress about it possibly happening again. We’ll get hyper-sensitized to the possibility of recurrence. We’ll be suspicious of those around us who might hurt us in similar ways. We’ll disempower ourselves and unintentionally put ourselves in harm’s way in our attempts to avoid it… and all this will happen below our level of consciousness.

That’s right, we’ll recreate this pain without even realising we’re doing it.

Now, there’s other things happening at an energetic level too, but it all amounts to the same thing.

A side note: The theory behind EFT says that when we experience a trauma, we get blocks in the energy that flows around our body (just the same way that blood, electricity and lymph do). Therefore, by tapping on our body, we simply dislodge those blocks, get the energy flowing again and then naturally heal ourselves.

Either way, we need to heal the trauma to stop it screwing up our lives.

Ok, so, before we all start panicking and running around with our hair on fire, let’s look at it all in a slightly more loving way.

When it’s time for us to learn a lesson, the universe will give us as many opportunities as we need in order to learn it.

If we screw up and get hurt again, that’s ok. We’ll get another chance later.

Right. You can breathe again.

What this all means is, any time something has upset you, you can typically look back through your life and see other situations where the same thing has occurred.



Now, these patterns won’t necessarily be exactly the same, but more generally similar. Abstract the situation out. Describe it simply. If you were going to have a movie describing this situation or trauma, what would the title of the movie be?

Some examples, to help you get the hang of it:

  • You get upset because your girlfriend ignores you when you’re trying to tell her something important? – Someone I love won’t listen to me
  • Your boyfriend is always late home from work – he doesn’t respect me (notice how it’s more about the feeling or outcome than the specifics of the situation)
  • You work hard but don’t get paid much for your efforts – I work hard and get nothing (straight forward)

Notice how once you’ve summarised it into a movie title, it gets much easier to look back on your life and see other similar situations. On the surface they might look completely different, but they actually end up with the exact same result – you feeling the same pain.



The key is to examine the earliest time this type of trauma has occurred for us.

Think of it this way. The first trauma is sounding an alarm bell. Any similar traumas that occur afterwards are like echoes off nearby buildings.

The first trauma is the cause. Later traumas are the effects.

So, in order to heal the whole shebang, you have to go back to the first trauma and heal that.

Well, strictly speaking, you don’t HAVE to do anything. You’re the boss, remember? However, it’s by a huge mile the most efficient way of healing the whole kit and kaboodle.

Don’t waste your time getting angry at the person in front of you. Most of the time, it really has very little to do with them at all.

Typically, once you’ve healed the first trauma (which is often surprisingly straightforward) the others either disappear by themselves, or you’ll be able to heal them in almost no time at all.

Conversely, if you start with one of the later traumas, you’ll struggle and struggle and STRUGGLE and seem to get nowhere. It’ll be frustrating. It’ll be tedious. You’ll feel maybe a little better but not really. Nothing you try will really seem to fix anything. Or it may go away, and then it’ll come back again. Why? Because you’re wasting time on the echoes, the effects, rather than going back to the root cause.

Anything which is bothering you, if you can see that that movie has played more than once in your life? Keep going back as early as you can, look for that same pattern, that same movie title. A lot of the time it’ll be some innocuous thing that happened when you were much younger, that you can barely (at the conscious level) remember. Heal on that, and watch the whole rest of it collapse.

The key is the pattern. Look to the root of the pattern. THAT is how you conquer trauma.