Connectedness, Not Grounding

If you are a survivor of childhood trauma and abuse and you are successful in your grounding methods and find them helpful and healing, I commend and congratulate you. I am so happy for you. I believe you are in the minority.

So many survivors do not do grounding easily. So many are triggered and wounded by doing grounding methods. So many try, but get judged and shamed when their efforts are not successful. So many are told that it is the way to cope and the way to work on being aware and being in the present moment. So many are told that if they only continue working on things that don’t work, it will eventually start working.

Grounding has never been fluid or easy for me. Many, sometimes most grounding methods, have been triggering, even to the point of re-emerging panic attacks, which I had mananaged to previously control and not have for some years.

The first therapist I worked with tried to get me to do meditation. I wish that I could have done it. I wish that it would have gone good, but it didn’t. Other therapists have only made this situation much worse.

One demanded that I do breathing exercises, even when I told her that I could not, to the point of triggering me into the re-emerging of panic attacks, which I had mananaged to previously control and not have for some years. She was the first DBT therapist that I saw.

I have concluded that some survivors can do grounding, being connected to the ground or earth and/or to their bodies or an object or activity. I think that’s great.

I don’t. I can’t. It is not good, for me. It is not healing, for me. It is not connecting.  I don’t like grounding to the ground. But I do it, usually every day. I do a daily grounding cord exercise and I don’t like it. I don’t feel good about it. It does not feel healing or healthy. Here is a link to an article that includes an explanation of the method I use:

Grounding Cord Exercise 4

After working on healing for over 25 years, I am finally able to work on being connected to my body. Though this is not my primary method of connecting. It is one way, but just in it’s infancy and is not effective yet.

So basically I have stopped calling what I do as grounding and to stop working on anything that I call grounding. Recently I decided what I need, and perhaps what other survivors need as well, is connectedness. Connectedness is a more custom fit method that I am using to work on healing and coping with being a survivor of child sexual abuse.

I finally figured out that I had a lot of discomfort, anxiety, fear and terror with grounding to something that is not right for me to connect to. Well, I’ve always known that, even when I said it and it was denied, I knew it, I just couldn’t say it as strongly as I can now. This has sent me on a trek to find things to connect to that did not bring out the discomfort, anxiety, fear, and terror. I will be posting about each area that I am working on in the next week or so.

7 thoughts on “Connectedness, Not Grounding

  1. It’s so powerful, Kate, what you say here …that if it feels dangerous and unhealthy, it’s not something you should do.

    Many things in therapy that are good feel dangerous, but there is usually an accompanying sense of positive risk, even when it’s hard and scary. For me as well, meditation and grounding never had that accompanying sense of “this is hard because it’s worth it” — they felt hard, and also wrong and damaging. Like you, I found my own things to do that work. One of them, for me, is driving. It doesn’t really even matter where I’m going; it calms and focuses me almost immediately. I thought of that when I read about how you feel about your bike. I think that for those of us who are able to retain reliable adult control of the body, movement/motion/getting away can be very useful; that sense of autonomy and freedom are powerful tools for reassurance.

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    • Hi David,

      Yes that is exactly what I feel and go through around grounding as well, as though the risks are not worth it, as though it will never work or be good or helpful or healing. And then to be told over and over that my intutive response was wrong. I have learned to honor and listen to my intuitive response. It is the one input that I can always rely on.

      I’m still going to do the grounding cord exercise daily. I have been doing it on and off for about ten years. I think I really hate it. It is one thing that my teaching spirit guide insists that I continue to do, no matter how I feel. It is hard to trust my spirit guide, but I am trying. It is a great way of draining negative energy from myself and others and to drain pain from my abuse down to return to the earth where it can be transformed into positive energy.

      I first came across the exercise in a book for survivors of child sexual abuse in a spiritual context. It’s kind of could be called new agey, but sort of came into my life at the right time. Reiki has contributed to my ability and desire to drain out the negative consequences of abuse through the grounding cord. I’m not sure if I will ever feel good about being grounded this way. But I know for sure that it has brought me a lot of healing through working on it.

      Driving, that sounds great. I’m glad that you have been able to find your own way. But, like myself, I’m sorry that you had to go it alone and find your own way. I think that is the experience of so many survivors of abuse. I have found driving incredibly calming as well. If only I could pass the test and afford to have a car. I also like to be driven around and to be on a bus, they all are great to me, yeah, freedom and autonomy.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

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  2. I’m glad you’ve been spending some time on the grounding skills. Sometimes we forget about them and go directly into panic mode. Thanks for “waking” me up to this.

    jo

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  3. Kate, I know you’re generous with your resource so I didn’t ask first (sorry!), but I’ve linked to this post- your connectedness work is, I think, really important. Grounding/mindfulness/meditations/etc are so often dangerous for trauma sufferers so your having turned it on its head is a gift to the world. Good thoughts to you- you’ve really earned them!

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    • Dear,

      You don’t have to ask to link to anything at my blog, that is what it is here for. I was really complimented that you wrote a post on the topic and linked to me. Thanks so much for participating in the conversation.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

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  4. Pingback: Connectedness to Movement « Kate1975's Blog

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