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  • Writer's pictureShannon Eastman

How Past Trauma Hamstrings Future Earnings

Past Trauma, Future Earnings - the struggle is real.

Way too many professionals with unresolved trauma in their past have a tumultuous relationship with money.  Simply put, there is typically an ongoing shortage with a whole lot of chaos. Spikes in earnings are often met with periods of famine. They can earn, and earn well, but not necessarily consistently.  

They can move mountains for you, negotiate like a beast… for you, but when it comes to themselves, those skills to move mountains and fiercely negotiate, might flutter for a moment, only to evaporate in the next moment.

It’s quite literally a compounded problem, with interest

The lack of consistent earning wreaks havoc with the individual in mind-body-brain, becoming a(nother) heightened anxiety level, locking itself into the physiology of the person for the long haul. That anxiety sits just under the surface, that over time is accepted as, ‘just life’. 

It will bring an intensity to the person’s day-to-day that is neither healthy, sustainable, or… profitable. 

Ironically, people with past trauma who channel their inner conflict into work, are often the innovators, outliers, and money makers for their employers, and prone to all sorts of genius ideation.


Diamonds in the rough, quite literally

This group tends to have an abundance of exceptional skills, a curated mind-over-matter growth mindset and increased levels of intelligence that win awards.  

They have a depth of understanding on several key subjects that is hard to rival, and often come with buckets of resilience, empathy, creative problem solving abilities, and they work non-stop. 

We have come to label these folks as the; workaholics, or the ones doing the jobs of 3-people, or touting, “If you want it done right…” - all common traits of unresolved past trauma. 

Anyway, I digress...


What is going on? 

To answer this question, we want to be looking at what is going on in mind, body and brain.  That right there holds at least half of the answer. 

The Mind: 

The cognitive self is seeking logic and reason, using linear problem solving to make a plan to shift the scene. That plan is accompanied by (the next hit) rush of dopamine surge and they are off, hell for leather, implementing said plan.

Only their mind has got blindspots. Here’s just 4 of them:

  1. Their perspective is from the small, deeply limiting window in their ‘proverbial’ basement. 

  2. Their complex-trauma-designed perception is incomplete because they are physiologically unable to receive complete stimuli from their environment and integrate it wholly to inform a clear view on their current landscape, that gives rise to a clear path out. They see part of the landscape. And they can only see a way out that follows the same-old pattern that got them into this struggle.  All completely outside of their awareness, living in the brain-body physiology.

  3. Their unconscious limiting beliefs are running rampant, despite how many books they read, will power they use, or tricks they play to overcome their mental self-talk. The unconscious beliefs buried in the brain-body operate at a force of about 9:1 - there is no long term escape when the brain-body are still programmed with past trauma. 

  4. Not-Safe-Can’t-Trust is the default setting for a dys-regulated brain-body. This state lives outside of the Thinking Self, but is always present. As long as the brain-body believe the person is ‘Not-Safe-Can’t-Trust’, the person will not be able to do anything that overrides the brain-body’s insistence on staying small. Staying small is safe. 


The Brain: 

The physical effects of past trauma remain intact until deliberate intervention takes place.  With up to 30% less prefrontal cortex, a smaller hippocampus, a short circuited amygdala, and an impaired brain stem, to name just a few.

The brain has formed, developed and grown into adult form wired with the imprints of trauma. As a result, certain regions of the brain can be offline, or short circuited to remain on, without ever being able to return to resting state, amplifying the chaos of a brain-body in dys-regulation.

The Body: 

We will include; the endocrine system, musculoskeletal system, and the nervous system for easy reference.  The body will also hold the physical effects of past trauma (neglect, loss emotional abuse, betrayal, domestic violence, cultural trauma, physical abuse and so on) until deliberate intervention using Top Down and Bottom Up approaches are engaged to resolve the trauma in mind, brain and body. 

Optimum health looks like a mind-body-brain in ever increasing states of Regulation. Regulation is the by-product of repair and recovery by using Top Down, Bottom Up approaches. In the absence of mind-body-brain regulation, the body adapts. 

The Dys-regulated Brain-Body adapts by altering: 

  1. The hormonal makeup, spikes in stress hormones and auto surge of hormones like dopamine for the next ‘adventure’ we have become accustomed to.

  2. Brain-body communication and the communication pathways it follows is ineffective at best.

  3. Flexibility in thought, imagination, movement and problem solving, or in this case, the inflexibility. The size and weight of tension held in the body creates rigidity in the mind-body-brain. 

All of that will have a significant effect on how the Thinking Self operates. (or doesn’t in this case).

Resolve Trauma, Resolve Future Earnings


While there is still unresolved trauma running the mind-brain-body systems, the mind will hold the illusion of moving forward, and in time, lack of money, messy finances, and problems with the tax-man will surface again, only bigger and harder, as the money problems, quite literally, compound. 

Rewriting the money scene quite literally requires rewriting the physiology. Top Down and Bottom Up approaches that bring mind-brain-body back into Regulation is a critical must-do factor. 

When Regulation is returned, the quality of ideas, planning, and implementation will literally shift expression. Foresight will emerge, care and desire for details will appear and the money situation forever changes. 

C-PTSD at Work: Highly Functioning, Secretly-in-Despair

For a deeper look at Complex Trauma, 38 Bottom Up resources, a look at Post Traumatic Growth and 13 Ways C-PTSD leaks at work  - get my book, C-PTSD at Work; Highly Functioning, Secretly-in-Despair, as a free PDF here >

or buy it on Amazon Worldwide for $9.99 USD (8.5 x 11 inches)

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