Trauma is generally defined as a “deeply distressing or disturbing experience”. This definition seemed very vague and it does not represent the overwhelming and disturbing long term effects that I see in my patients in my private practice. With further probing, I stumbled on the definition given by the American Psychological Association (www.apa.org) and trauma was defined as “an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster.” Symptoms that one may experience include numbness, startled responses, nightmares, avoidance of triggers that are reminders of the event, anxiety, depression, irritability, fear and insomnia. These symptoms and many more may impact the victim/survivor for a short time frame or for a long time period. What determines the length of time of the impact of the trauma you ask? Appropriate CARE and HEALING!! In this work, I have observed that most of us tend to want to remove ourselves and avoid our pain (naturally) as a means to cope. Unfortunately, pushing away the memories or redirecting our psyche’s attention to something less emotionally triggering serves only as a band-aid to our pain. While the band-aid may numb the pain, but this is only a temporary solution. The wounds developed from the trauma will worsen over time. Likened to any wound, without proper care and cleansing, it can lead to complications such as infections, tissue necrosis, amputation and so many more irreversible harm. In regards to the psyche, one may find that their unresolved trauma which may lead to unhealthy behaviors expressed consciously or unconsciously. Such behaviors may cause further harm to the person’s life and the people who are closely attached to them.
In therapy, I have had the privilege to counsel trauma victims in their experiences with giving Birth, Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse, Bullying, Domestic Violence, Infertility, Death, Infancy Loss/Stillborn loss and countless other events. The journey in the valley can be so distressful, but I have observed warriors being transformed, rising from the ashes in the remnants of their pain, redefining themselves and their experience. Trauma work requires the decision to HEAL and the support of a professional who is passionate about meeting you at day 1 until you move to the other side of your trauma.
“Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. When someone enters the pain and hears the screams, then healing can begin”
– Danielle Bernock
Whether you have experienced little TRAUMA or big TRAUMA, if it paralyzes your state of mind, then it holds too much power. The abuser holds too much power. The circumstance holds too much power. The pain holds too much power. I urge you to push through and take back your power to live a healthy existence!
~Here’s to you taking back your power~
Connect with a health care professional and let your HEALING begin!