August 2021: Are you suffering from unhealed trauma? Here’s how to find out…
Hello beautiful people,
This month, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about trauma: how to understand it, how to process it, and emerge from it.
I think most people experience some form of trauma at some point in their lives – but maybe they just don’t realize it.
I want to help you to see your trauma, recognize it, and then acknowledge it. From a place of acceptance, you’ll be able to move forward and truly begin to heal.
Of course, moving forward doesn’t mean moving on and forgetting what happened, but accepting the trauma and using it to grow.
What unhealed trauma looks like
Trauma can manifest itself in a myriad of ways: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Think carefully if you see elements of your own emotions or behavior in the below:
- Anxiety or panic attacks – trauma, particularly at a young age, can actually rewire the brain to make us more prone to anxiety. If you feel sick, panicked or worried, this may be caused by unresolved trauma.
- Anger & lashing out at others – when we’re traumatized, our primitive survival instincts often kick in, and this takes shape as anger.
- Distracting behaviors like self harm, addiction, or eating disorders – this might come from an attempt to numb or mask your pain.
- Dissociation – this means feeling “zoned out” in certain situations like conversations or vulnerable moments, or even smiling or laughing when talking about the topic or around it. This is very common, as we are prone to separating our body and feelings as a defence mechanism.
- Hypervigilance – feeling constantly on guard, like you’re always at risk of something bad happening.
- Feelings of fear – being untrusting of certain people, places, and things. Maybe you know why or have some rationalization for your fear, or maybe you don’t know why you feel so afraid.
- Looking for love in all the wrong places – maybe you find yourself drawn to toxic people who aren’t good for you.
- Avoidance – on the other hand, perhaps you avoid things like love, intimacy, and closeness as it reminds you of your pain in some way, or you feel undeserving of it.
How to move forward & grow after trauma
I know thinking about and acknowledging these things can be incredibly hard! However, it’s so important.
More than half of people who recover from trauma come out the other side with posttraumatic growth. This means that you’ll feel stronger and more in touch with yourself than ever before.
Take some time to really consider if you see parts of yourself on that list. Do you feel like your life aligns with any of those emotions? Are you using these behaviors as coping strategies to stop you from truly feeling your pain?
Maybe you see yourself in some of the symptoms and behaviors above, but never connected them with your trauma. This could be because you never recognized the event as traumatic, or you don’t remember it.
But by understanding that you have unresolved trauma, you can begin to move forward and work towards a happier life. You can start to get in touch with your inner strength.
No matter where you are on your journey, talk to friends, get support, and you can always reach out to me. I will do all I can to help you move from a place of darkness to one of light, strength, hope, and awakening.
With love and gratitude,