The fact that children raised from birth (and trauma can happen from conception due to changes communicated to the infant from the condition of the mother’s body if SHE is stressed) end up with changed brains, nervous and immune systems that have been prepared for survival in a hostile, toxic, traumatic, dangerously malevolent world does not mean that we grow up to be hurtful or malevolent people outselves. It does not mean that we will grow up to perpetrate against or victimize others, not even our own children.
It simply means that because nature has the ability to enable us to make physical adjustments within our bodies (including internal relationships between our body, our self and the world) and including even the expression of our DNA on an ongoing basis long after the abuse has ended — that we had to develop differently AS we survived the abuse from birth.
It is not only because of the abuse that we are now different, but we are different BECAUSE we survived it. There was only these two alternatives: Either adapt and adjust our development so that we could BE in the world (as in “To be or not to be”) or we would have ceased to exist.
As Dr. Allan Schore repeats in his writings over and over again, an infant is driven to “go on being” no matter how traumatic the circumstances are that surround it during its development. The fact that we HAVE survived has turned out for many of us to be both our blessing and our curse.
We have been turned lose in a ‘benovolent’ world in which we are expected to function just like everyone else (in my section on ATTACHMENT I will describe in detail the approximate breakdown of percentages about how many of us actually grow up in a secure ‘good enough’ home and how many of us don’t — and what happens to our development in the storm).
Our changed body, brain, nervous system and immune system mean that we are literally geared differently than those who were told through their experiences that the world was a safe and secure place. My intention is to describe what our differences mean to us as we try to get through every day of our lives.