Now you maybe wondering how people can commit aggressive and violent crimes against each other, animals and children. Why do teenagers in America have so much rage that they can go on a killing spree and kill their fellow class mates? How can a parent abuse their child? Why do people abuse and treat animals so badly? Why do kids bully other kids? Why do the abused go on to become the abusers? Is it nature or is it nurture?
Is it in their genes, are they born evil or is it the effects of their early life experiences that give them ability to cause harm to others? We are currently living in a time where we have people who (what seems on the outside looking in) have the ability to easily commit suicide, taking as many people lives with them as they can. Cold, unemotional, calculating killers, who have no empathy or compassion for others or themselves. But these men and women do have one thing in common. They finally feel like they belong to a tribe. They have found people who understand their needs and provide for them. Teenagers join gangs or find adults or cults that resonate the same emotional energy as themselves. If they are full of rage and anger against the world, feel isolated alone and misunderstood, then these are the same people they are subconsciously drawn to be with. They feel like they are finally heard, seen, felt and have a common shared experience with these groups of people. Our prisons are full of people who had violent early life experiences, who have never felt bonded, loved or connected and often find their tribe in prison.
Have you ever noticed that if you share a traumatic event with somebody then you become more connected, more bonded with that person or the people involved especially if they are supportive, compassionate and loving towards you. A good example of this is the story about the Delta flight travelling to America on 9/11 that was diverted to Canada because of the attack on the World Trade Centre. These people spent many hours together on the plane surrounded by armed guards, not knowing what was happening outside or why they had landed in Canada. These people shared a potentially life threatening experience together and formed strong and lasting friendships, not only between the other people on the plane but with the Canadian families who kindly took them in and gave them shelter. We all have the same desires, connection love and acceptance of who we are and seek this in the choice of people we choose to be with. This can also explain why some people become bonded to their abusers or kidnappers, because they also offers some form of connection and support. You can learn more about this by researching Stockholm Syndrome.
Many factors, including our time in utero, birth and early life, can influence how we react to the world. Be it from a place of peace, love, compassion or vengeance, rage and hate or anywhere else between that emotional scale.
Whilst in utero the baby is learning about the outside world though his mothers perception of the world. The chronic or continuously held negative or positive emotions of the mother are received by the baby and affect the physical, emotional and mental development. Dr Bruce Lipton highlights this in The Biology of Belief. If the mother is living in fear of her life, then the foetus will develop a larger reptilian brain with a stronger sense of survival. The fight or flight instincts will then be easily triggered and this will continue throughout childhood and adulthood. The beliefs will be the world is a dangerous place so I had better be prepared.
If the mother and baby are living in a supported environment, then the prefrontal cortex and the neocortex will be able to develop with higher intelligence. More of the developmental energy goes into these parts of the brain creating a more peaceful, compassionate and intelligent human. However, if the environment is fraught with fear and danger, then the prefrontal cortex and neocortex will not develop in the same way. This is why children living in socially and economically deprived households often do not thrive emotionally and mentally. Because the reptilian and mammalian brains are being constantly triggered and the neocortex is not given the support to develop, the higher intelligence centres do not get the chance to evolve.
In Heal Your Birth, Heal Your Life we explore more in depth about how our time in utero and the different ways we are born affects us on a physical, mental and emotional level. Potentially, physically violent and painful births such as forceps delivery and C-sections can leave us feeling disconnected and mistrusting of being touched. Induction and epidural births can leave us feeling spaced out and unable to function and unable to bond fully. Creating disconnection and separation from love, causing isolation and rage at our violent beginnings.
As Babies, we are hard wired to bond. Bonding begins in the womb and at birth by feeling loved and nurtured by the Mother (and Father) and that potential to bond continues throughout our life. Bonding is natures way to ensure the survival of the human race and influences how we as children and adults go on to form relationships with others. As a baby if you had a traumatic birth but you were able to have the time and space to create a secure attachment with your mother then you can start the healing of that traumatic birth, because your mother is there for you and you shared that experience together. Just like the people on the plane sharing their traumatic experience. However, if you were separated from your mother and didn’t get the time to bond, then there is a possibility you will be feeling abandoned, isolated and not wanted or loved. This can lead to abandonment issues throughout your life. To a baby abandonment means potential death, as you are unable to take care of yourself.
But what if you also then learn that connection is painful because you are abused or neglected by your parent/guardian?
James W. Prescott, PhD is a developmental neuropsychologist and cross-cultural psychologist. He initiated a number of brain research programmes with baby monkeys, which documented that the early life experiences of separating mother and infant induced a variety of developmental brain abnormalities. Prescott believes that the failure to bond in the mother-infant relationship, including insufficient breastfeeding, induces developmental brain abnormalities in the infant/child that result in the later depression and violence of suicidal and homicidal behaviours that are of epidemic proportions in America; they can also account in part for the prevalence of the massive psychiatric medication of the children and youth of America.[i]
The baby needs touch and movement stimulation for healthy emotional brain development. Prescott stated in an article called “Sensory Deprivation in the Developing Brain” by Michael Mendizza that:
“If we have pleasurable sensory stimulation then the memory traces (Engrams) are stored as templates that will be images of pleasure. If they are painful they are going to be stored as images of pain. And pain evokes violent responses. But there is something else that invokes violent responses — the absence of pleasure — and that’s different than the sensory event of pain, and most people don’t appreciate that distinction. In fact, more damage occurs with the sensory deprivation of pleasure than the actual experience of physical, painful trauma, which, in fact, can be handled quite well in individuals who have been brought up with a great deal of physical — affectional bonding and pleasure, which carries with it emotional trust and security. So we really have to look at the trauma of sensory deprivation of physical pleasure and that translates into the separation experiences, the isolation experiences of the infant from the mother, that’s the beginning.”[ii]
I have found that most of my long-term clients are those who were continually emotionally neglected as babies and young children. We know that the feeling of isolation is the most damaging.
As a therapist when working with any traumatic events, the first thing that happens when we carry out the Matrix Reimprinting or Matrix Birth Reimprinting session is that we bring in that much needed connection for the client. Creating safety and connection is essential. It can bring about the changes we need, to begin to heal isolation and rebuild our feeling of connection.
In Heal Your Birth, Heal Your Life we explore the early life experiences of Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler. Both of these men had a very traumatic start in life. Saddam’s mother experienced the loss of her husband and son whilst she was pregnant with him. She tried to abort Saddam and then tried to kill herself. After birth, Saddam was given away to live with his uncle and experiences physical and emotional abuse as a child. John C. Sonne writes in his article, On Tyrants as Abortion Survivors, how Adolf Hitler’s father, Alois, beat his mother, Klara, when she was pregnant with him, and continued to beat Klara, Adolf and his siblings throughout his childhood.[iii] Sonne also goes on to say that Francisco Franco, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Slobodan Milosevic, Osama bin Laden, and Klebold and Harris, the Columbine school killers, could also fit the profile of abortion survivors. Sonne also states that “not all persons threatened with abortion become murderous tyrants, or even symptomatic. Whether or not they become symptomatic depends on the severity of the threat, upon their innate resilience, and whether or not in later life they are further traumatised, or have healing, loving and growth promoting experiences. Many abortion survivors become loving, contributing members of society, and good parents.”[iv] In my experience, some of the best healers are the ones who have experienced very early life trauma.
How we experience and relate to the world is influenced by many, many factors. I believe it is a combination of nature and nurture. It is our natural inbuilt survival programs to connect to survive in what ever form that takes. Our ancestors, our culture, our parents, our teachers, in fact the whole environment we live in have an effect on us. The layering of positive and/or negative experiences and how we relate to them determines our resiliency to trauma. But most importantly it is the beliefs we make about our selves and the world around us at any given time. Our unprocessed negative emotions related to those traumatic early life experiences can express themselves as anger, rage and pain driving some people to have the need to hurt others. If we want to live in a peaceful world then more needs to be done to support parents right from conception, pregnancy and birth. The way we birth our children needs to move more towards natural, peaceful, loving and supported birth with less medical interventions and empowerment of women to trust their own inner guidance. And finally, having more compassion for our traumatised children and helping them with tools such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping) instead of punishing them and labelling then as bad. Remember we are all looking for the same thing, love, compassion and connection.
To learn more about how our beliefs affect our life and Matrix Reimprinting read Transform Your Beliefs, Transform Your Life and how to transform your experience of birth Heal Your Birth, Heal Your Life.
[i] Touch The Future newsletter, How Culture Shapes the Developing Brain and the Future of Humanity, Spring 2002, p.2
[ii] Mendizza, Michael, Sensory Deprivation and the Developing Brain, p.4, www.ttfuture.org
[iii] Sonne, John, On Tyrants as Abortion Survivors, Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health 19. 2 (Winter 2004): 149-167, p.7
[iv] Sonne, John, On Tyrants as Abortion Survivors, Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health 19. 2 (Winter 2004): 149-167, p.3