“Trauma is not what happens to you. Trauma is what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you.” – Gabor Mate
The impact of trauma isn’t always physical. The wound may be hidden from the eyes of the world. It can also create problems if you don’t connect the dots and recognize how much you need to get support and help.
So what kinds of lies might we tell ourselves – that slow down our healing, and prevent us getting help?
Lie #1: My situation isn’t as bad as others’ situation. Trauma is trauma. This is not a competition. Denial doesn’t help, and comparisons are futile. The fact is you’ve been wounded and your life is not the same. Diminishing your suffering won’t help your heart to heal.
Lie #2: I shouldn’t let this bother me. Trauma changes us profoundly, and it needs to be worked through. You can’t just bury trauma. The effects won’t disappear. Also, you deserve to be supported, and your story should be heard. What happened here is major. It was not a trivial thing.
Lie #3: There is something wrong with me. There is nothing wrong with you. All those symptoms and reactions are absolutely normal when you’ve been traumatized. You are not going crazy. You are reeling from the shock.
Lie #4: I deserve what happened to me. Don’t believe this for one minute. You did not deserve this treatment. That person chose to hurt you. You did not cause this at all. I wish that you could grasp just how beautiful you are.
Lie #5: It will all be Ok if I can just avoid the triggers. Because the root is still untreated, you will always be at risk of suddenly being triggered (often unexpectedly). Also, you can’t avoid all triggers as they’re simply everywhere!
Lie #6: My physical symptoms having nothing to do with my mental health. It’s well-known that the body and mind are intertwined, that stress can cause health problems, and can interfere with sleep. Your body is reacting to what you’re going through.
Lie #7: This is just who I am now. We may feel that we’re broken but with help our life can change. In time we can recover some of our old self again.
“Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally. (However) when someone enters the pain and hears the screams healing can begin.” – Danielle Bernock