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Ultra-Independence: A Trauma Response

Most everyone looks at independence as a strength. And, while it is important on some level, when it becomes a part of your survival mechanism, it may actually be a problem.

Extreme independence could be a trauma response. Were you the caretaker of your household growing up? Or grow up in a home with distant, abusive, or narcissist family members? Were you abused in an intimate relationship? Friendship? Bullied? Grieving the death of someone?

For so many reasons, we can become so used to doing everything ourselves, that asking for help becomes terrifying. We become so hard on ourselves. We expect to be superheroes at all times. We beat ourselves up when we cannot fix a situation or do everything ourselves. The inability to trust is one of the cornerstones of trauma. And, that extends to other people, but also ourselves. We create walls to protect ourselves. We don't let people in because we fear being hurt and disappointed and, for some, like myself, we don't feel worthy of help. So, we set boundaries to limit how close others get to us. To protect ourselves from heartbreak and pain. To keep ourselves safe.

But learning to accept help from others is not something to be ashamed of. You're not keeping yourself safe - you're hiding. You're afraid. It's not about being independent or proving to ourselves that we have everything under control. It's about living knowing heartbreak will happen, but living anyway. It's about having the courage to face your wounds and caring for them until they're just scars.

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