Was that Trauma?
Was that trauma?
Trauma is defined as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. However, what is considered traumatic to one person may not be traumatic for someone else. It depends on the person's background and experiences. It's always interesting to see how people interact with their environments. For example, when I think of the different ways people respond to trauma, I think of the movie Twister.
There's this scene in twister, where the soon to be bride of the main male character is stuck in a big metallic building with the rest of the storm chasers. There's debris flying around and lots of noise. At one point, the car flies into the building. The entire time that this is happening, the soon to be bride is screaming bloody murder. For the storm chasers, they are making sure that everyone else is okay. They are also fairly calm considering the circumstances, because this is their norm.
In this scenario, the soon to be bride is reacting differently than the others, because being stuck in the middle of a tornado is affecting her differently than it is affecting the others. So, the difference between whether something is traumatic to you is how you respond to the event. Does that make sense?
Even though the example of the tornado is an extreme one, trauma can come in all forms. Going to the store may be traumatic for someone, because it may represent something that has happened earlier in their lives. So, if you suffer from trauma, what can you do?
Things to do
Try talking about the traumatic event to loved ones. You are more than likely to open up to people that you already know and trust. Everyone responds to trauma differently and opening up to loved ones about how something affected you will help you to process through it.
Remember to do a fact check on your emotions. Your ability to understand your emotions will help you to navigate the path to recovery. Remember, even small steps can be steps in the right direction.
Writing about the event can be difficult, but it helps. If you are able to write about the event several different times or explore the event through art, something called aversion to the event occurs. It doesn't normalize the event for you, but it will help you to process through the emotions related to the event. Doing this will cause the triggers and pain associated with the event to lessen.
Sometimes, if it is an event that other family members have gone through as well, you may be worried about how your kids or significant other will react to the event. Be sure to work through your own emotions before trying to tackle theirs. I love the analogy of putting on your own oxygen mask before you help someone else with theirs. This works for emotional wellbeing as well. Don't be afraid to talk about the event.
There may be times when traumatic events may trigger memories from previous traumatic events. To understand how this affects you, try seeking out a professional, whether that is a therapist or a coach who specializes with trauma and anxiety.
If you decide to talk to someone about your anxiety and trauma, find someone you work well with or someone with whom you feel safe. Make sure you stick with the therapy or coaching, because being consistent with it will help you get results faster. Make sure that you are sticking with it until the end, because this will help you to build up your toolkit for future events.
Still Need Something Extra?
There are many things that you can do to explore yourself and how you tick. I have a lot of different resources that you can check out here. However, if you find yourself needing that one on one time or needing something a bit more than just occasional flybys, come schedule a time to talk to me about what we can do next.