What Trauma Does to You
You turn into a person you don’t recognize, acting in ways you never thought you would act, feeling things you never felt before.
You feel like you’re a foreigner in your own body. You have anxiety attacks. You wake up in a panic. You feel intense emotions at unexpected things.
You’re triggered unexpectedly, and constantly.
Even though you may find your old self again, trauma permanently changes you.
You lose your optimism, and can’t believe you’ll ever recover and enjoy your life again.
You lose your faith in humanity. You start to think anyone could hurt and harm another … no matter who it is, or how wonderful they seem.
You lose your sense of humour – at least for a while.
Things People don’t ‘get’ about Trauma
You don’t just deal with it, and move on. Everything within you resists recovery – because your brain wants to protect you from being harmed again.
There isn’t an off switch you can use with your reactions. They come out of the blue, and it can take a while to calm down the responses, and to quieten the fears.
This is a game with no rules; you have to go with the flow. Your subconscious holds the reigns. Your conscious mind no longer has control.
You can’t act some part and pretend you’re over it. Trauma is too powerful. It dominates your life.
There is Hope
You can recover and move on, eventually. It takes a lot of work. It takes tenacity. But you can get in touch with your old self again.
There are people who can help, if you look hard enough. But be careful who you tell. Very few will understand. Be persistent, and can looking. It is worth it in the end.
Often, you find a new tribe. A tribe you never knew existed. A tribe you never, ever thought about before. And you’re very, very grateful you have found this tribe.
You develop a much deeper, new respect for yourself, and a fierceness at enforcing healthy boundaries.
Although trauma leaves it mark, there can be payoffs as well. It turns you into someone who can empathize with others. And you can hold out a bright beacon of hope to them, as well.
“Each of us heals in our own way.”
– Rachel Remen