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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk with guest host Bruce Muzik about the tools to overcome childhood traumas that are showing up in your relationships.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Bruce Muzik of Love at First Fight.
  • What are ACEs Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (cdc.gov)>, and how are they affecting our relationships?
    • The huge impact our childhoods have on our lives.
    • Why there is a direct link that predicts disease in our adult life.
    • What is affecting our potential relationship satisfaction.
    • What a low vs high ACE score means.
    • Why certain ACE scores are tied to alcoholism, chronic depression, smoking, autoimmune diseases and more.
    • How many ACEs did Joel and Antonia have?
  • So you have ACEs…now what?
    • Why healing from trauma is possible and faster than you think.
    • How these particular trauma therapies are changing lives.
    • Why this time period in history is set for healing trauma.
    • The burgeoning science of healing trauma.
    • Why talk therapy isn’t the best option to deal with trauma.
    • Where our trauma is actually stored.
    • Bessel van der Kolk’s book, The Body Keeps the Score.
  • The real thing that is most damaging to people beyond the actual trauma.
  • What our emotions actually need to do.
  • How is trauma affecting our relationships?
    • Which couples struggle the most in their relationships?
    • What Bruce experienced in his marriage.
    • What safety in our relationship really means.
    • When we have cortisol pumping in our veins consistently.
    • Why kissing your wife goodbye in the morning is such a big deal.
  • Why we all actually have trauma.
    • Capital “T” Trauma vs lowercase “t” trauma.
    • The one thing we all have to do.
    • How attachment styles tie in with trauma. (Check out this episode with Bruce on attachment theory )
  • Where to get help.
  • What do we do to handle trauma in others?
    • When is challenge vs gentleness appropriate?
    • Why personal growth leaders need to understand trauma.
    • The model Bruce uses to grow through what we’ve gone through.
    • What men need more vs what women need.
    • Bruce’s experience of how to support and yet challenge.
  • Why labeling our partners can cause more problems than help.
    • When blaming stops our progress.
    • What focusing on the self does for you and your relationship.
    • This important thing you need to learn.

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24 comments

  • This anonymous dude is a douche
    • This anonymous dude is a douche
    • November 6, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    How very Christ-like of you. I’m going to go ahead and assume you are an evangelical conservative Christian. Just like the old saying, “there is no hate like Christian love”, which has never been more true than in today’s America. I would assume the people that identify as LGBTQ+ have higher rates of suicide because of people like you who further traumatize them with your senseless hate and divisiveness. To the members of the before mentioned community who may read this: you are important, you are valued, you are loved and the ill-informed and outdated f*©k that wrote this is hypocritical moron. Xoxo

  • Rowena
    • Rowena
    • July 3, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Strangely, I have no ACEs. However, I would be the cause of the penultimate ACE for somebody else, due to suffering from mental illness (bipolar) and having been suicidal at times. Despite having no ACEs according to that list, I know that I am fearful-avoidant*, particularly in romantic relationships, and that I suffer from anxiety and from a degree of hypervigilance generally.

    If I were going to nitpick, I’d say my mother was slightly domineering, and my father a little emotionally needy, though neither to the extent where I was say my home life was traumatic according to the ACE test. They probably did skew my attachment a bit, hence being fearful-avoidant, but I would not really blame them for my lack of trust at all. My parents are good people and I have a strong relationship with both of them. I had a generally happy childhood inside the home, but a miserable one outside it. What I did suffer was years of bullying at school. From the first day I discovered that other children didn’t like me and wanted to treat me cruelly. I hadn’t knowingly done anything to provoke it. I made friends in time, but the bullying only properly ended when I had a year off school aged 15 to undergo cancer treatment – itself a highly traumatic experience. I think the other kids felt guilty so they began treating me more kindly

    I’m now 37 but I still suffer from trauma-induced lack of confidence, anxiety, guilt and paranoia at times, and particularly when meeting new people. My instinct is to belief that others are out to get me and that if they are pleasant it is false and they are trying to trick me. I’ve spent years trying to ignore pain/anger and rise above unpleasantness, but that doesn’t help address the trauma. Fortunately, I am learning to ignore my hypervigilant urges and take people at face value. I’m learning that people can be genuinely friendly and kind. I also have a wonderful securely-attached partner who is comfortingly predictable and is helping me to get over my problems. I’ve almost stopped assuming that he will leave me.

    This podcast is both fascinating and essential, and I’m glad bullying was mentioned at one point. However, I think it would be helpful to focus more often on trauma showing up outside the home, rather than just assuming that it comes only from the child’s caregivers.

    *Obviously, any MBTI type can be fearful-avoidant, but I wonder if it is reflected in my being an INTP. It can feel a bit like a Ti-Fe clash.

  • Kate
    • Kate
    • April 21, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    I was disappointed that emotional abuse was not part of the ACE scores presented here. Especially since the book referenced (Complex PTSD Surviving to Thriving) includes emotional abuse as a factor in cPTSD cases.
    My entire life I watched my father emotionally abuse my mother. It deeply impacted my sense of self and my future relationships. Emotional abuse is much more complex but just as damaging as physical abuse.

  • Karen
    • Karen
    • April 15, 2021 at 10:49 pm

    Aargh reply in wrong place, sorry!

  • Karen
    • Karen
    • April 15, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    Hmm, I think what I mean is that gentleness and challenge are not mutually exclusive. Though maybe for some people and at some times toughness is the only way to challenge?

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