Mis-matched trauma patterns


To me this adds an important distinction to trauma-informed love relating. We can heal our traumas considerably and yet still be left with deep, life-long preferences (needs) for how we want to express ourselves and how we want to be treated.

I know traumatized beings who have a strong need for independence. If they get “too much” into we-space, they dis-regulate. Make them breakfast 7 days in a row and, OHDEARGOD STOP! Some need to live alone in order to feel that kind of “I can do it on my own!” feeling of empowerment. Yes, perhaps it arose from living with an abusive parent and escaping at 15 to be on their own. That empowerment is precious and core. Too much we-space can feel off-putting, triggering, disorienting.

Others who had the same flavor of abuse might also have left home early, established their independence, yet their trauma relief craves we-space. It craves the combination of shared competence and also shared awareness and Acts of Service as a love language they picked up and treasure the poetry it can bring to shared lives.

What Jeff says in this quote can free us to recognize that in such a traumatized existence, even (and perhaps ESPECIALLY as we heal) we can honor that there are some really okay people where our trauma and theirs do not coalesce well.

And some do.



I’m able to right now calmly see my Dad here - he needs that independence, aloneness and having that “we space,” well, he doesn’t like. I don’t really understand my dad, but reading this made me think of him, allowing me to give him some compassion, grace and mercy here that I have not been able to.

Thank you, Rick.


This is so incredibly helpful! Thank you, @Rick.