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“Trauma is not what happens to you. Trauma is what happens inside of you, as a result of what happened to you." - Dr Gabor Maté
In today’s blog I want to talk about the uncomfortable topic of trauma because it’s time we get comfortable with it.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting we invite it into our lives, but the reality is we all experience trauma at some point it’s whether we are brave enough to admit it or not.
I am still quite stunned that despite the catalogue of incidents in my lifetime I never considered myself to have ever experienced trauma, it was that constant declaration of “oh it wasn’t that bad, others have it worse” that kept me from acknowledging what I needed. It’s what kept me stuck in survival mode.
It was only when my husband died that I felt worthy of getting the support I needed and even then, I can still remember justifying it with “I have to do it for the children”. As strange as it may sound when you hear it out loud or type it on the page… I didn’t need my husband to die for me to give myself permission to get that help.
In a world where sensational news and dramatic events often dominate our headlines, it’s easy to forget that trauma isn’t limited to headline-grabbing incidents. Trauma isn’t solely about shocking events that shake the world; it’s about how those events impact your psychological well-being. It’s about the mark they leave on us.
In this article I want to explore what trauma is, why it shouldn’t be compared, and how the size of trauma doesn’t matter.
Understanding Trauma Beyond the Headline
Trauma is an emotional response to a distressing event or series of events that overwhelm our ability to cope and challenge our sense of well-being and safety, it doesn’t have to be life threatening it can be something that destabilises our existence. Whilst news stories may sensationalise large-scale catastrophes, trauma can stem from various sources, big and small. The impact of trauma reverberates our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, it affects our daily lives and relationships.
Every Story Matters: The Uniqueness of Trauma
Our experience of trauma is unique, what may seem trivial to one person could deeply affect another. The uniqueness of our experience is testament to the complexity of our mind, body, and spirit systems. Your trauma is your own, your responses are determined by your past experiences, emotions, social environment, and personal vulnerabilities. Discrediting your trauma by comparing to others tells the part of you that is hurt and vulnerable that they are not worthy of those feelings and beliefs hindering the healing process.
By acknowledging your trauma and understanding how it has affected you and your psychological well-being is the first step in healing. Comparing trauma can only lead to self-judgement and feelings of not being good enough. It is time to embrace self-compassion and start your healing journey.
In a world where everyone carries their own story let’s create an environment of acceptance where we can uplift one another by listening and practicing empathy not judgement. You don’t need to understand their trauma you need to acknowledge the impact it has had.
In summary, trauma isn’t a competition defined by sensationalised headlines. It’s about YOUR experience and the impact it has had on your psychological well-being. The healing journey starts with acknowledgement and exploring ways to navigate through your emotions, reclaiming your sense of self, and finding the resilience to move forward. Your story matters, and your healing matters more. It’s time to rewrite the narrative of trauma, to honour the individual’s journey, show compassion and make the healing journey to a happya life.
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