Last week after picking my son up from school we were rear-ended while waiting for the stop light to turn green. Last year when we were in a similar but, more serious accident I hadn’t realized how much damage an accident could do on your lower back. So, when we were again hit last week the trauma of last year came bubbling to the surface and my back began to ache again.
We are fine.
The car is fine.
I honestly did not think much about the event in the days that have passed… until I sat down to watch the new show on Netflix, Anne with an “e” which highlighted trauma in an interesting way. Noises, actions, and specific words or phrases transported Anne back to her prior abusive situations.
This depiction of trauma got me thinking about how trauma is this thing we think we’ve figured out until we are poked again or triggered back into those situations that caused us pain in the past.
Trauma is a deeply depressing or disturbing experience.
Trauma does NOT have to have visual scars.
Trauma to you may not be trauma to me or anyone else.
Trauma is something you carry deep inside… until you are able to speak the truth and release it to the world or just a close friend.
Words spoken and unspoken can cause trauma.
Obligation or expectations placed on you can cause trauma.
Actions or inaction can cause trauma.
Trauma can be felt and experienced on many varying levels throughout our growth and development.
Trauma may also happen later in life when we expected we would have handled “things” differently.
Trauma like grief is tricky and individual in nature.
There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds. -Laurell K. Hamilton
How do we heal and get stronger?
How do we diminish the effects of our triggers?
These are questions I have been seeking to answer over the last year of my life…maybe longer unconsciously but, wholeheartedly for a solid year.
For me it has taken a combination of things to get to me this place where I am beginning to feel free and more like myself than ever before in life.
Lunch dates with friends.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).
The hardest part has been giving myself grace to really process in whatever way I needed, like allowing myself to put space in relationships that do not feel “safe” for my recovery.
Just when you think you have gained strength something will happen to transport you right back to the place of pain. In these moments learning NOT to numb and instead breathe and process the pain or feelings that are festering is imperative.
Finding someone to share in your journey is very helpful as well. I have come to realize that there are many of us whom have trauma from our past that keeps us stuck in our present lives. We can have empathy and compassion for others on this journey however; we can NOT heal anyone and we can NOT help anyone until we ourselves do the hard work of healing.
Some of the most beautiful days in your life will come after you dig in and go deep within your soul and do the work of cleaning up the messes, learning to love your inner child and allowing God to give you the strength to heal from the inside out!
Facing our junk is NOT fun but, it is the ONLY way to find freedom and truly discover who your authentic self is…NOT anything the world, your family of origin, spouse, friends or community have gotten you to believe about yourself.
May you begin to find healing and peace for this journey.