Dealing With Our Dignity
Dealing With Our Dignity
September 6, 2022
Content Warning: This episode talks about sexual, emotional, and physical abuse.
In this episode, Lyndsay Soprano talks with guest, Carrie Paulsen about her experiences with childhood trauma, sexual and physical abuse, and chronic pain from injury. They have known each other since they were 15 years old and went to high school together. Carrie has been married for 16 years, has 3 children, and is known for her love of fostering animals.
The episode highlights the lifelong challenges that childhood trauma presents and how it affects our relationships going forwards. We can’t control our past, but we can process the trauma to help us move towards a healthier future and heal our souls and bodies from the effects that the trauma has on us. It’s common to push our issues onto other people, and it can be very damaging for those relationships.
Carrie shares that she has dealt with childhood trauma stemming from sexual, emotional, and physical abuse from a young age, followed by chronic pain because of herniated discs from a car accident when she was 16 years old. She notes that her first major trauma was in the form of sexual abuse from the ages of 5 to 7 from a neighborhood girl that would lock her in the bonus room and pin her down. She still remembers the smell of the girl’s breath to this day because the experience was so traumatic. She also suspected that the same thing was happening to the girl at home. The abuse stopped only because her family moved. She never told anyone what was happening to her at the time, but recently told her father and felt relieved to finally get it off her chest. After moving, she was then sexually abused by a male from the ages of 12 to 14.
She recalls having her first boyfriend around 14 years old, who was a few years older than her, and breaking down crying while sitting in his lap. She was unable to verbalize what was upsetting her and why she was crying, but perhaps in a way was mourning her trauma.
At age 16, Carrie was in a car accident and suffered multiple herniated discs. She says that that physical trauma gave her emotional trauma a place to live within her body and things expanded from there. She mostly swept her trauma under the rug and tried to forget about it but started to understand the connection between physical and emotional trauma within the last 5 years of so.
Her chronic pain increased throughout her pregnancies and deliveries and worsened her mental illness. She was misdiagnosed for 12-15 years before she was finally diagnosed with postpartum bipolar depression. It took a while to find the right medicine cocktail to help her stabilize, but not without many manic episodes and anxiety attacks.
She grew up going to Catholic school and went to church every Sunday but feels that she has a bad taste in her mouth about religion and the church, not to mention the molestation that commonly occurs within the Catholic church. Lyndsay feels as though there is a reason why we are here, and we all have a purpose, but identifies as Agnostic. Carrie recommends the book, “A Dog’s Purpose” and feels that everyone should read it.
Carrie has taken on helping and fostering animals, particularly dogs, from a young age. She recalls a time she found a lost dog and her parents couldn’t have cared less about helping and she couldn’t understand how anyone could be so cruel. The process has given her joy and helped her to find comfort in her trauma by helping animals that have been in traumatic situations or neglected.
Let’s get to the heart of how to heal. With you by her side.
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