Exploring the trauma that shapes our lives

what happened to you
What happened to you? by Neuroscientist and child trauma expert Bruce Perry
Our earliest experiences shape our lives far down the road, and “What Happened to You?” by Oprah Winfrey provides powerful scientific and emotional insights into the behavioral patterns so many of us struggle to understand.اضافة اعلان

This book is going to change the way you see your life.

Have you ever wondered "Why did I do that?" or "Why can't I just control my behavior?" Others may judge our reactions and think, "What's wrong with that person?" When questioning our emotions, it's easy to place the blame on ourselves; holding ourselves and those around us to an impossible standard. It's time we started asking a different question.

Through deeply personal conversations, Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr Bruce Perry offer a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”
Here, Winfrey shares stories from her own past, understanding through experience the vulnerability that comes from facing trauma and adversity at a young age.

In conversation throughout the book, she and Perry focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves. It’s a subtle but profound shift in our approach to trauma, and it’s one that allows us to understand our pasts in order to clear a path to our future — opening the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way.

‘Where Hope Lives’

What we experience in childhood shapes us forever — and that is especially true for young victims of trauma. It’s a lesson Oprah learned as a child being raised by an abusive grandmother. She developed “a keen sense of when trouble was brewing” — when she would be subjected to “whuppings” at times so brutal, the welts left behind would bleed through her clothing.

As a result of this and other abuse she suffered, Oprah has had a lifelong interest in understanding and overcoming the profound effects of early trauma — and helping others do the same, writes O Magazine.

Now, she’s teamed up with neuroscientist and child trauma expert Bruce Perry on this essential book. Revealing, intimate, and educational, it’s a testament to the authors’ wish for readers to come to grips with, and let go of, the past — and to move forward into “post-traumatic wisdom."

“What I’ve learned from talking to so many victims of traumatic events, abuse, or neglect is that after absorbing these painful experiences, the child begins to ache,” Perry said.

“A deep longing to feel needed, validated, and valued begins to take hold. As these children grow, they lack the ability to set a standard for what they deserve. And if that lack is not addressed, what often follows is a complicated, frustrating pattern of self-sabotage, violence, promiscuity, or addiction,” he continued

A major finding is that of someone’s relational health — your connectedness to family, community, and culture — has been found to be more predictive of your mental health than your history of adversity. This is similar to the findings of other researchers looking at the power of positive relationships on health, according to Perry.

“You’re blaming the past,” Oprah said. “Your past is not an excuse.” She added that your past is not an excuse. But it is an explanation that offers insight into the questions of why so many of us ask ourselves: Why do I behave the way I behave? Why do I feel the way I do?

“Very often, ‘what happened’ takes years to reveal itself. It takes courage to confront our actions, peel back the layers of trauma in our lives, and expose the raw truth of our past. But this is where healing begins,” Oprah said.
Oprah Winfrey has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world through media. As host and supervising producer of the top-rated, award-winning The Oprah Winfrey Show, she entertained, enlightened, and uplifted millions of viewers for 25 years.

Her accomplishments as a global media leader and philanthropist have established her as one of the most respected and admired public figures today.

Dr Bruce Perry is a child psychiatrist and neuroscientist, is the principal of the Neurosequential Network, senior fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy, and an adjunct professor of psychiatry at the Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago. 

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