One Day at a Time. One Step at a Time.

“The experience of emotional overwhelm is similar to that of a shaken bottle of soda. Inside the bottle is a tremendous amount of pressure. The safest way to release the pressure is to open and close the cap in a slow, cautious and intentional manner so as to prevent an explosion.”

Rothschild, 2010

What Happened to Feeling Safe?

If you’ve experienced betrayal trauma, you know how destabilizing it can be. The rug has been pulled from under your feet, and the world feels scary and unpredictable.

There is nothing that feels certain.

There is no-one you can trust.

And that turns your whole world upside down.

The Impact on Emotions

You’ll also be the victim of swift changing emotions. These hit you out of nowhere, and are often overwhelming. 

They’re hard to regulate, and to manage, and control.

Simply sharing what you’ve been through can be triggering for you.

What Might Help?

Hence, you need to take it slowly, and to give yourself some space.  If you can, reduce commitments and avoid things that cause stress.

Put a boundary round relationships. Choose friendships carefully. For now, spend time with people who are caring, calm and kind.

Also, if pressure starts to build … decide to step back for a while. Self care is your priority. You don’t have the reserves. Your nervous system’s altered and goes into overdrive as soon as it detects the slightest risk of injury.

A Reason for Hope

If you can create safety in relationships and life – and give yourself the space to slowly process all that mess – eventually you’ll find that you are in a different place.

Perhaps you’ll still feel shaky, and more fragile than before

But you are getting stronger. You are in recovery.  

The first goal of trauma recovery should and must be to improve your quality of life on a daily basis.”

Rothschild, 2010

13 thoughts on “One Day at a Time. One Step at a Time.

  1. Oh wow, yes, that feeling of nothing being certain! I endured both childhood trauma and what may be a form of betrayal trauma in adulthood (in the psychiatric care system, so it’s different from with an intimate partner) and I can totally relate to the feeling that nothing is certain and I’m safe nowhere. I do try to practise self-care on a daily basis, but then I feel it’s going so well that I wonder when the other shoe will drop.


    • Thank you for sharing from your experience. It’s so good to get your input. That sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop is such an uncomfortable way to live – and an experience shared by many who have been traumatized. I’m sorry you’ve gone through so much – but you sound like a fighter and a survivor. Thanks again, and have a great weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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