Financial Trauma: Finding a New Path to Your Internal Money Tree
Updated: Feb 17
Financial Trauma can be described as a deeply distressing and disturbing experience relating to one's financial position.
When I refer to Financial Trauma, it is something that has either happened in the past or currently happening or in the process of happening, that has impacted a person’s way of life in a dramatic way.
It affects the choices they make, resulting in a person experiencing emotional and mental distressed states of being associated with overwhelming debt, prolonged periods of or an inability to sustain financial obligations associated with basic needs and survival, accompanied with the seeing of no clear path as how to grow themselves financially again.
So How Does It Happen?
There is of course no one scenario that creates financial trauma. It can come from:
A choice that has resulted in being considered a bad financial risk
From a business agreement or relationship that lost its way or became dysfunctional
A death of a family member
Personal injury or injury to another
Involvement in a legal battle or dispute
Being a Victim of impact from a natural disaster
Being a Victim of impact from another’s financial choices
Divorce or Separation
Bankruptcy (which can result as a solution to deal with the above presenting circumstances)
Just to clarify here, financial trauma is not necessarily associated with gambling addictions, where there are other underlying issues behind the scenes. It is associated with a one-off life changing event that has had a person hit a wall in life, which has altered their course of direction.
Financial trauma not only impacts the sole person. It ripples outwards, impacting relationships of those whom the person is connected to. For many who witness a person in financial trauma, it is easy to be unaware of the emotional inner world that a person is dealing with in this state of mind and well-being.
In cases where the financial trauma is being dealt with secretly or quietly, most often, these people will either withdraw socially or develop an overt personality, that has them present that they are doing okay, when really behind the scenes they are not.
Those whom have their circumstances known to either a family member, friend or loved one, have access to more support, encouragement or optimism towards them in a loving way, however, providing positive advise, being happy or supportive, as loving as it may seem, is not enough to a person in this distressed state. Let's be real. We don't like to see people we care about deeply in pain, so we will do what we know to our best capability to avoid pain, and to deter them away from it. This seems like a solution that appears sufficient enough on the surface, however, it doesn't always provide the space for the person to fully express what’s really happening for them internally, which contributes to them feeling more emotionally alienated. What's needed here is to understand their state of mind.
With financial trauma comes an excessive and extreme loss of personal power. To the point where some see no way out and resort to extreme measures of ending one’s own life to avoid the emotional pain, the shame, continuous emotional distress, impending doom for their future, the loss of choice, the loss of freedom, the loss of joyful experiences, and the loss of being able to give.
Others will find a way to cope by finding themselves “a life raft” whether it is throwing themselves into something that is going to put their energy in another direction, however, this can be often a scapegoat for not feeling the total impact of the situation, and will find that later down the track these feelings will surface again in a bigger way, if not acknowledged and dealt with. The understanding needed for someone in this situation is that they are continuously, and I mean continuously reminded, whether it be their environment, the people they are around, their bank balance, their lifestyle, they are showed that they are in this hole with no way out and that this is their life now. This is it. All there is. And so the internal mental and emotional energetic loop keeps circulating over and over again.
When they are around others, they will often:
Find it hard to engage in general social gatherings or conversations that involve experiences or situations that they will somehow in their mind relate it back to money and their lack of it, as most experiences cost money, one way or another.
Compare themselves to others in every way from age, achievements, financial circumstances, job appearance, and relate it back to their experience.
Not be fully present and able to relax and connect in conversations freely. Depending on whether the financial trauma is a relatively fresh experience or it has been months or years even, they may be stuck in their "story" of the event.
Become angry, jealous, depressed or reactive, internally or externally, showing it or expressing it.
Can be repetitive of the story of how they came to be in the position they are in.
They also feel isolation due to not knowing how to connect in the ways that many do that require going out and doing simple activities. Therefore, their personal interest level will drop as their only and primary interest is survival. They hear about a person looking at buying a new car, renovating a house, or buying their second apartment whilst going on a holiday overseas. All of this will be another twist of the knife for someone who is experiencing financial trauma. All they can hear and be reminded of is how they are not even close to that position, and based on their age, income, prospects, society, and what they have now… they never will be ever again.
It is a jail with invisible bars that you carry with you everywhere you go.
What you need to understand is that they know how to get money. They have done so in the past. They are not psychologically unequipped to know this. The problem is much deeper now.
When our finances take a blow, so do we, and it can be a big thing to bounce back from. Often unresolved feelings such as guilt, shame, anger and grief can hold a person in energy of non-inactivity for some time, and in some cases create depression.
How quickly a person bounces back depends on the individual. It also depends on how they have perceived attaining financial gain in the past also.
The problem is that we have to take in consideration the life stage that they are in and also their age. There is a progression that tends to occur as we age. If say someone is in their 40’s and they have been impacted with experiencing financial trauma, the things that used to drive them in the past no longer may drive them as much now. A different set of values can set in. Therefore motivation and desire change.
So How Do We Get Out Of The Mind Jail To Find Our Inner Money Tree Again?
This is in-fact the tricky part of it all. Acceptance of being in it is part of the process. Fighting and pulling on the bars doesn't get you out of the jail. Anything that accesses a different part of the brain, and interrupts the fight-or-flight survival pattern, even reading this article, is a starting point. The fight or flight survival aspect of the brain is enhanced in this state, so we need to interrupt it to break out of it, however, this will not actually get you out of the mind jail. It will only assist with your acceptance of being in it, which is still important, yes, but this is not where your destination lies, so we don't want to be comfortable here.
Many will begin to feel safe, and experience feeling secure here also. Of course this is natural, given the experience of trauma. So what’s going to make someone want to come out of their mind jail?
The first step is to unlock the jail and the key to this is Inspiration.
Inspiration is being mentally stimulated in a creative way. Inspiration breathes life into a person’s state of being, and comes from new information; it is a state of feeling that occurs, that comes through connecting to something externally, that connects to a person internally. It can be attained through anything, even something simple, such as watching a movie, or reading something, or going to an event and connecting to one person that says the right thing for them, so as to have a person feel moved out of themselves for even just a moment.
The second step is opening the door. To open the door of the mind, what is needed is to be able to stimulate the Imagination faculties of the mind. Imagination is "the ability or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality."
The intention is to have them start to develop new thoughts and images, that don't have a monetary value connected to them so as to jump-start the imagination in expanding it beyond what it thinks it knows already.
The third step is walking through the door. This is the most powerful step and this is called Initiation - “the causing of something to begin." It is the turning point within, a light-bulb moment that occurs that says a person is now ready to access new knowledge and potential that has them commit to walk through the prison door to a new life path. They are ready to move on from their “story” and what has happened and are ready to take their step into the unknown.
Whenever our thinking changes, our actions change. This has a person feel more affirmed that taking the first step out from where they are, is going to make all the difference of moving beyond their current reality into a new one... from old to new.
Of course as much as these are a few tools to assist in getting out of the jail, the true healing of emotional, psychological and spiritual scars may require some additional assistance. We may need to explore on a deeper level as to how this has come about, its meaning for it in your life, and also what your unconscious beliefs are around money, wealth or abundance.
If you know of anyone that may benefit from reading this article or may need some extra assistance in developing and growing their internal money tree again, please share with them, as it could be the necessary seed, for it to develop from.