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Fortunately, you already have almost everything you need to get started.

3

Before you can help yourself, you must understand and accept two things. At some time in your life, you suffered a terrible trauma or series of traumas; and because of the trauma you suffered, you’re asleep to yourself, to your own needs, wants, and desires, and asleep to the same things in others.

These two things – the trauma you suffered and your “unconsciousness” – are tied to each other in the tightest of knots, both in you and in almost everyone, probably everyone, you see.

You’ve been traumatized and probably don’t even realize or remember it.

You’re asleep to yourself and to others.

Accept these two things as true, and you most certainly can begin to help yourself.

4

I don’t know what happened to start you on your path of slumber. I think I know what happened to me. My father physically and emotionally abused me, probably from the time I was very small until my mother, pregnant with my sister, left him when my brother was five and I was three and a half. My earliest memories consist of my father abusing me and my brother. And if he abused us, he probably abused my mother, although she has never said so.

That wasn’t the only trauma I suffered, for once the cycle of trauma is in place, trauma begets trauma.

5

My father taught me well enough. Once I knew I could assert my will over others, I proceeded to visit my trauma upon them. I did so mostly with anger, rarely but occasionally with violence. I struck people. I verbally and emotionally abused others. I broke the trust of those closest to me, including the trust of my wife and children.

Half a century later, I discovered that what I called the dark voice in my head, the one that told me people aren’t to be trusted, the one that prompted me so often over the course of my life to visit my anger on those around me, was probably the voice that saved me when I was so very small.

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