Evolving Relationships and Trauma

Relationships can be a fertile ground for our development and transformation. Those who are closest to us, the ones we feel safe and loved with, can create the ideal conditions that allow for new growth.

On good days we might look at our partners and say thank you for helping me grow. The days when our partner is angry, unreasonable or distant: that’s our challenge and is when we may want to run away. Perhaps it makes us touch into something WE don’t want to feel and maybe we blame our partner for how we now feel.

Out or In

I often hear this question with clients who feel that their partner is not developing at the same pace as they are. They struggle with: “Should I stay or Should I go?”

These questions instantly signal that I have no clarity. I am unable to sense or feel myself: this sends me deep into my mind, losing myself in endless thought. When this occurs, this is a sign that it is not about the relationship… it’s about ‘me’ being unable to ‘feel’ my relationship. It is as if I sit in the gap in-between the two choices. In all likelihood my question originates from where I am split or fragmented.

If you have done a lot of work on this and still the question keeps surfacing, creating suffering, then contemplate: am I receiving enough in this relationship? Is it sufficient to make what I am missing alright with me? If the answer is no… maybe you’re done. If the answer is yes then maybe you’re not.


Could childhood trauma affect some or all of your relationships, especially your intimate partnerships? Will being born into a traumatized family system also have an influence on how you relate with others? Could this steer you to think you do not deserve to be loved or happy?

We impact each other every day through our thoughts, actions, and how we live. We’re content and happy when living in harmony with our true nature and connected with others.

If you’ve experienced trauma there can be an inner need to feel safe and cared for, particularly in your relationships. Traumatized or shadow parts often create internal chaos that misinterprets what your partner is able to offer. Maybe they were also traumatized whether they are conscious of it or not. Trauma creates fragmentation and distorts how you each perceive and receive from each other.

If you experienced trauma it can feel that you’ve been betrayed: feelings of abandonment, pain and vulnerability. It’s important to remember we all come from different backgrounds, experiences and family systems, and we may not even communicate in the same way. It’s crucial to communicate what you are feeling and not merely expect others ‘to know’.

Showing Up

What happens when we are triggered or activated? We have the functional adult part of us that has the ability to think, reason and make good decisions. We also have the fragmented part, the wounded child. This is the part of us that was on the receiving end and was flooded with trauma or neglect.

We all have days when we are triggered and it’s difficult to know what emotions we feel. One day it can be easy to identify, but others not so easy to know what we feel at all. When I can’t feel myself it’s because my mind, emotions and my body are not one message anymore. Usually in these moments when we ‘don’t’ feel… we tend to think a lot.

Emotional Intimacy

Healthy relationships are about being with each other and being present and more emotionally available. How can you do this for your partner and for yourself? Being available or present to another is to allow them to know you. Maybe even to allow it for yourself first. Start with baby steps: sitting with uncomfortable feelings or difficult emotions instead of leaving, disassociating.

Life can be beautiful and magical: real life also contains sadness and challenges. Growing close to another can bring highs and lows and needs us to be willing to risk opening up to move forward. The beauty of living an authentic life is to allow connection with another and trust in the rhythm of life.

In this time of social distancing am offering Zoom video or phone sessions. I created Inner Alchemy to focus on how we can each expand our consciousness and potential, so that we can lead fulfilling, flowing and impactful lives. If you’re looking for support in aligning your focus, healing personal, intergenerational and collective trauma or finding your place feel free to reach out to arrange a free intro call or free coaching or mentoring discovery session.

Book your Zoom Video Call or Phone session | 416 732 2661

Karen Johnson 416.732.2661