Healing from trauma is an unlayering process

Healing from trauma as well as the waking up process, in general, is often experienced as an unlayering process. Lately I’ve been revisiting the oldest wounding again. It’s been a doozy. It’s got correlates in the body (and shows up as chronic illness via the psych drug damage–everything matters and everything is connected!) and so I’ve not been feeling well either. It’s bringing up all the stuff about the system and healers that played into my even earlier wounding. These are my latest spontaneous utterances from twitter…shared here with some editing for clarification.

tweets from my twitter timeline:

The perpetrating healer should be an archetype that’s routinely discussed in circles of any kind of helping professional.

The abuses of the perpetrating healer become more and more subtle and (even) sophisticated as the healer becomes more aware…ugly razor’s edge…the sensitive too gets sucked into the dynamic but can watch and learn now. Like I’ve said before, it’s a dance. As we pay attention to the process it can help us stop involving ourselves in the dance.

I have the dubious distinction of bringing out the perpetrating healer in almost everyone I dare to approach with vulnerability. (yeah, that sucks and makes getting well, quite the challenge)

luckily for me and those I advocate for, as well, there have been a few notable and wondrous exceptions to that rule…

Hence I’ve been able to bring through on this website this bizarre and unpopular teaching of sorts. it’s certainly not something I consciously chose…but here it is…playing itself out.

the further I move along this trajectory the fewer people are able to follow, appreciate or show interest in what I’m saying…

though there are notable and wondrous exceptions to that rule as well… !! 😊


And also recently, on topic: 

This video too, speaks directly to the phenomena of the perpetrating healer:


*it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care.  Really all doctors should always be willing to do this as we are all individuals and need to be treated as such. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

It’s become clear to me that whenever it’s possible that it’s helpful for folks who’ve not begun withdrawal and have the time to consider a carefully thought out plan to attempt to bring greater well-being to your body before starting the withdrawal. That means learning how to profoundly nourish your body/mind and spirit prior to beginning a withdrawal. For suggestions on how to go about doing that check the drop-down menus on this blog for ideas. Anything that helps you learn how to live well can be part of your plan. That plan will look different for everyone as we learn to follow our hearts and find our own unique paths in the world. Things to begin considering are diet, exercise and movement, meditation/contemplation etc. Paying attention to all these things as you do them helps too. The body will start letting us know what it needs as we learn to pay attention. 

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

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5 thoughts on “Healing from trauma is an unlayering process

  1. Dear Monica, I love this post very much. Might I point out that after much thought I’ve realized that there’s no such thing as “abuse magnets.” No way. I am aware that I am repeatedly abused even now that I have no known psych history.

    If a person is vulnerable, there is an instant power dynamic. Does “Help me!” ask for trouble? I believe it does, whether a person is “abuse magnet” or not.

    The abuse will happen if the healer takes advantage of the situation. The best abusers are subtle. They harm under the guise of kindness and great “bedside manner.” They woo us in, but under all that, they are condescending, they take control, they make empty promises, informed consent is meaningless and you’re just a “case” to them.

    The difference between a person who claims they get “good care” and a person who seems to be “abuse magnet” is that they are being equally abused!!! Yet only the abuse magnet is aware. The “good care” patient is blinded by the degrees, the slickness, the reputation, the good looks, the promises, the authority they claim to have, and the way they even act like parents to the patients.

    The abuse magnet has more insight, a more realistic perspective, and perhaps a bit of scepticism and education thrown into all that. For decades I was one of those “good care” type patients and every time any harm, even horrific harm happened, I made excuses for it afterward, instead of realizing They Are Not Gods.

    From one Proud Abuse Magnet to another,

    Julie (and Puzzle)


    1. If it is true that each of us is the highest authority on our own experience, then no one lacks insight. I feel that this is a construct of the MH System, and patriarchal medical system that needs to be ditched. The United Nations (CRPD) confers with this.

      I believe that lacking insight is only a perception of another person, often the provider. When I hear a provider say this about a patient, I know that provider lacks insight into the patient’s condition.

      I never met anyone who lacked insight into their condition. I spent over three decades in the System and was incarcerated over 50 times. The common denominator was that we had been misunderstood.

      Here’s an example. Years ago I had a mild bad reaction to a drug, Mellaril. This was not an allergy, no rash, etc. I got tachycardia and they told me to say I was allergic. Then, years later I was told that tachycardia is not an allergic reaction.

      In my records that I obtained from a hospital, it said that “the patient lacks insight and is a poor historian because she said she was not allergic to drugs. However, we note in her records that Mellaril gives her palpitations.”

      Who lacked insight? Who kept poor records? Tachycardia and palpitations are not the same thing, and neither one of these is an allergic reaction.

      I’ve seen many similar “Lacks insight” labels given to non-English speakers, elderly patients who were hard of hearing, etc.



      1. I agree, the difference here is that we’re saying the same thing, using different terminology. From what I recall of the MH System, doing just that got an awful lot of us locked up needlessly, simply because they used their power inappropriately over those they didn’t understand.

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