A first date question: “How aware are you of your traumas & suppressed emotions and tell me about how you are actively working to heal them before you try to project that shit on me.”Unknown (to me) source
I love this question.
In a mostly trauma-unaware relationship, one or both get trauma triggered, react on it, and may project whatever was triggered onto the other. It’s easily a vicious cycle.
In a more trauma-aware relationship, both are aware of the typical signs of triggered trauma (reactivity, over-reaction, defensiveness, blame, going into stories and ideology, etc), recognize it when it happens in themselves or the other, are able to step back and put words on it, are willing and dedicated to resolving and finding healing for their own trauma, and support the other in finding healing for her or his own trauma.
Of course, life is messy. It’s not always so clean and clear-cut. But if this is the general trend and orientation, the relationship can be very beautiful and serve as a source of deep healing for both. The general rule is to take care of your own shit, as the quote says, and give space for the other to take care of theirs. When it happens for me, I can acknowledge it and put words on it, and actively seek resolution and healing for it. When it happens for the other, I can notice, quietly support, and allow the other to notice for themselves and put words on it. (And sometimes, I may share how I experience it, how it impacts me.)
I also find that in these type of relationships and interactions, the love can be more of a constant even as these traumas are triggered. I notice I love the other, I notice trauma triggered in myself or the other, and the noticing of the love can continue as a stream through it. Of course, that’s not always the case either, but that’s OK. That’s part of the process. The love is still there whether it’s noticed or not.