Life After Trauma
Life After Trauma is a hard thought to process because it is an unknown when we are in the initial reaction to trauma. Trauma is also different for everyone including the reaction to the trauma.
I will never get into the trauma comparison game because it does not matter. What truly matters is how we feel about our own trauma, how we identify trauma, how we process it, and how we move on from it. This is also a lot to think about and is not simple due to the intense emotions attached.
I want to first start off by saying there is no “right way” to process trauma or to react. The most common reactions we hear about are the fight, flight, or freeze response. We fight or are seen as rebelling. We flee and try to run from the situation or emotions altogether or we freeze and feel paralyzed in the trauma which could mean reliving it through dreams or even intense emotional reactions in other situations. However you initially reaction is 100% alright.
Unfortunately trauma happens to us all. Again, what classifies as trauma in your life is decided by you and you only. What someone else classifies as trauma can be harmful. Remember this when talking with others. I bring up this point because at one point in my own life, I shared with a counselor what had happened to me multiple times in my life. I did not identify these interactions as trauma, but her reaction did and she labeled it as trauma. This in turn made the events traumatic to me and caused me to react with new emotions. I truly know she meant nothing but to be helpful, but how we classify events is our own to decide because we alone are the ones that process them as well as live on after them.
Now comes the part where we have a choice.
I will never victim shame and tell someone they were responsible for their trauma. I think this again is a personal choice to choose if you feel you took part in the trauma. For me, I choose to accept that I made decisions that put me in unhealthy situations. I do not take responsibility for others actions in those times. This is the difference with responsibility in trauma. So, when I say now we have a choice, the choice comes in how we move forward.
We may not actively choose how we react initially, but how we move forward into the life after trauma is 100% ours. You can choose to stay sad about what happens, allow it to defeat you, keep you from striving towards your dreams, and remain in fear OR you can choose to show up for yourself. THis choice means you do the deep work of processing the thoughts, releasing the stuck emotions, choosing how to share your story whether it is out loud or simply the “why” behind what you do, and you get to use it to empower you to move forward, to help others going through similar fear.
Trauma is not easy to deal with. It is not easy to move past it, but in my book, it is a necessity. I get to reclaim my power from the events and help others.
Let’s address an elephant in the room first.
Moving past your trauma does not mean forgetting, it does not mean you have to talk to any person involved. It does not mean blaming yourself. It does not mean making the event or occurrences right. It simply means you are taking back your power! You are no longer letting someone else have any control over you.
This is where the power is. No one else in this life gets to choose your life for you and I am sending you so much love for even sitting and reading this article. YOU ARE WORTH IT!
The next steps in creating your life after trauma happen when you decide you are READY.
Begin by gaining support and a safe place. This can be supported with a coach, counselor, your higher power, and friends. This support just needs to be a place you feel fully supported. This is your journey so take your time finding the right support. I don’t recommend going through the processing of trauma alone. We just simply do not have too. This causes more suffering then needed. We as humans crave companionship as a basic human need so give yourself that support when diving deep into your healing.
Once you feel safe and supported, take some time exploring the emotions within your body and name them. Our brain needs emotions to have a name to understand how to process it. Feel where these emotions live within your body.
Next, is the part many of us fear. This is where we process the emotions and release the baggage we hold from the trauma. This is the time we dive deep into the thoughts and beliefs that were created and still play a role in our lives due to the trauma. This is where the healing occurs. My friend, do not be afraid here. You have support! You are safe and remember that processing the trauma does not mean you have to relive it or even feel those exact same feelings. Trust that your body and spirit know how to heal and let it happen. Acknowledge and do not rush this. The discomfort is where the growth occurs. Give yourself so much love. It is not a palace to dwell, but rather allow what needs to come up to rise to the surface.
Last, live on. Choose how you show up and keep actively doing the work. Trauma integrates on many levels of our bodies so this may occur in many different times to heal, which is completely normal and alright. Your spirit and body know what to do. The first step is giving yourself permission to release the trauma’s hold over you and I think if you have read this far, you are already there my friend.
You are so strong. You are resilient and you are meant to show up. Share all you have to give with the world as you stand in your power.
The trauma is not you. You are not your trauma. You and you! Choose what life after trauma looks like and as always I am here to serve in any way that I can!
Sending you so much love my amazing, badass friend!