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9.2. Concealment

Why do I write at all about what I found out about Alma?

Why do I dig like this into my own and others' pain?

I have already explained that I need to describe how the insight in the next part of the book came to be. That is the primary purpose.

At the same time, I am a human being like everyone else, but I have experienced something special in my life and been subjected to some trials.

«So what?», You might be thinking.

«Get over it!» I can hear you say.

«Everybody hurts», R.E.M. sings in the background.

«We all have ours to contend with, so what's so special about you and your story?» you say.


I see that this may not be as special as I thought.

That in itself is a significant discovery.

I see what I am writing about, childhood traumas that manifest as complex PTSD, hidden PTSD – unconscious PTSD – is not uncommon at all.

On the contrary!

In my own family, there are injuries everywhere.

In my surroundings, there are visible psychological injuries to many.

In these four years of deep diving, I have attracted people, one by one, never in groups, who almost without exception have similar stories and problems.

For most people, the events that caused the injuries are known and understood. There can be many rounds of moving. Alcoholic parents. Violence, poverty, neglect, lack of mental resources, lack of networks, etc.

Children can be harmed in countless ways.

Often the damage is understood; it's just not processed, not sufficient. The pain was never dealt with, never confronted. Never mourned over, never comforted away. Never healed.

Those who inflicted the damage usually know they are to blame and feel ashamed.

As a rule, they too are injured.

Problems of this kind are swept under the rug, trivialised, masked behind successful facades, normalised, or projected onto something else.

Much of the materialism and competition we see in society, I believe, is an attempt to compensate for injuries. The more people flash prosperity and success, the more I see damage blinking like a neon light in the background.

Those who suffer feel guilt because they have interpreted it as themselves not being good enough, not clever enough, not being lovable, not deserving closeness, love, inclusion, acceptance.

Those who do not know the cause of their injury because it occurred at a pre-conscious age have it even worse.

They are helpless in understanding where it comes from, but they too are ashamed of not being good enough and often experience an even greater need for love because these people are so hurt that they cannot give or receive love – without knowing why.

Then you think of yourself as a kind of monster.

It creates a distorted self-image, lack of sense of self-worth, uncontrolled anger, and excessive vigilance for the reaction of others, which can often be confused with empathy. Sometimes you feel that you do not know who you are.

You are simply not connected, in one way or another, because it is a puzzle that does not work. Some pieces are not visible but, at the same time, make a mess. Other pieces we ourselves refused to pick up and use.

The result is a person with holes, conflicts, pieces in the wrong place, etc.

A broken human being.

So I think the main reason for all these ailments is often that things happened to us in childhood.

We thought it was supposed to be like this because we were told by our scared, ashamed, hurt parents – and the rest of our scared, ashamed, hurt family – that it's normal.

They hid the pain in the hope that they would not discover it if the child did not learn about it.

May I add that our society, as a whole, functions in the same way?

We have created a society that amplifies psychological damage.


Because those who control it are themselves hurt.

Osho says, on every occasion, that politicians are the most injured of all; that's why they are politicians. The problem is that they project it onto society instead of going into themselves and working out the cause of the misery where it originated.

Politicians can therefore be dangerous in every conceivable way.

All this fear and repression, generation after generation.

Therefore, I will now show you, a little and anonymously, what I discovered about Alma and what I think about this particular case.

That is the second reason why Alma goes through the book like a ghost.

There is also a third.

Alma never managed to meet me in an open way when I made contact after thirty-two years. I also failed to meet her in a way she could trust.

We're both too devastated.

Therefore, for my part, I ended up being rejected – again. It happened while I was at the bottom of my fall. It created a violent pain and opened the wounds.

This book would never have been written if I had been met with acceptance and a willingness to listen. Now I was forced, in a raw and brutal way, to confront myself, find out everything without assistance and pull myself up by the hair.

I have managed that, but I do not indulge anyone in this experience.

At the same time, I treat everyone to that experience because this is what it takes!

This is the camel standing there looking sceptically at the eye of the needle and thinking that through the narrow crack, I will not, the camel thinks.

Then it is pushed, forced, squeezed into the opening – by the circumstances, by the pain of the flames approaching on the side where it now stands.

So it pushes through the eye of the needle, almost dies before it ... wakes up. Sees. And understand – that nothing is dangerous, not really. All this was ... unnecessary.

It was all just fear.

What came through the eye of the needle was the authentic, awake soul of the creature that experienced being a camel. Pure amness has no problems with needle eyes because there is nothing it needs to carry with it. The fear remained on the earthly side.

This parable from the Bible may well be a picture of dying and shows that, yes, you can take nothing with you; everything must be left behind. But your subjective experience as such is still there.

The fear of mortal life was allowed to unfold freely because no one hindered it, no one confronted it. The injured man did not dare to study his injury but went into the herd to find protection.

Every time I see a herd, I get sceptical.

Pete Walker is a therapist in the San Francisco area with over thirty years of experience. He himself has complex PTSD and has managed to get far in understanding the mechanisms and consequences for the individual.

In 2013, he published a book that both therapists and patients praise alike: «Complex PTSD: From surviving to thriving».

I highly recommend it.

In the book, he claims that if childhood traumas are correctly understood and treated, we will be able to remove half, perhaps even more, of the psychiatric diagnoses in use today. They are all just consequences of CPTSD. That is the one to be treated.

That's why I'll tell you a little more about Alma.

I hope that these thoughts may provide some support and reconciliation for her and her family. At the same time, I understand that they can look at things differently, so I apologise for stepping in this way; dealing with existential pain requires determination.

And openness.

I am also writing this so my family can read and understand a little more. And everyone else, including you, my dear reader, because you have your story.