At first glance, you may feel absolutely resistant when you look at this step. How can I let someone find out about me? You may feel fear, dread, anticipation of rejection and humiliation if anyone knows of your past or “secrets”. Perhaps you may feel knots and tangles in your body with no vision or understanding as to how to “untangle” those knots. “Fearlessly” writing an inventory takes enough energy, and trips your trigger wires badly enough – now you have to actually share this with someone. When I got ready to share my inventory with my beloved therapist, I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that this process became the validation I had always longed for.
Most survivors, unless they are in a crisis, do not put much thought into what happened; the people, places, things, and reactions to events that have long-shaped their life. But if you have not yet taken a look at what traumata shaped your personality, behaviors, fears, and ways of responding in life, Step Four is a good opportunity to stop and think about it. Perhaps you have reached the day when you realize that you are not living your life as you really want to. Perhaps you feel a deep inner longing for healthy, secure attachment, love and a more kind relationship with yourself. You may experience a longing for life as you were told it was supposed to be but you have no evidence that you are living such a life.
Step One is your guide on how to process and heal from trauma. It will also serve as your guide to personal growth, which is applicable for anyone, not just for trauma survivors. Why is processing trauma, and personal growth, important for you? You may wonder of the necessity of going through such a process, especially if you are high functioning and successful in life. After all, growing pains are indeed painful, and we humans are wired to avoid pain and seek pleasure. You also have a responsibility to take care of yourself, and although some pain can be avoided, there is the pain that cannot be avoided, and requires processing.
This book is directed to the individuals without any experience of Twelve Step recovery, the seasoned veteran of Twelve Steps, as well as the experienced mental-health professional. The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have helped countless addicts. This healing process is based upon spiritual principles that speak to the human spirit. If you practice them, you will experience physical and spiritual growth, and emotional stability.
Rivka Edery is a social worker who is dedicated to helping survivors of trauma to recover healthy lives. Her book explains the invisible cord underlying the problems resulting from unresolved trauma which dramatically hinder a person trying to live a satisfying life. She clearly illustrates the therapeutic value of incorporating spirituality as part of a survivor’s recovery process. This discussion is useful to both the survivor and the mental health professional.