logoM.A., LMFT (MFC 50298), M.S., LAc. (AC 8941)

Trauma—when overwhelming situations leave their mark

  • Has a past situation upset or hurt you so much that the painful images and negative memories seem seared in your mind? Are you loosing hope your life will ever be as joyful, pleasant or normal again?
  • Do you often replay old and disturbing situations where you wish you could have said or done something different? Where you could right a wrong, and make everything okay? Do you find that none of your “do-overs” ever really free you from the pain, humiliation, shame, and unfairness these memories carry?
  • Do you regularly experience intense emotions that hijack your ability to control what you say and do? Are many of your reactions disproportionate to the current situations in your life? Do you find yourself unable to control your emotions and thoughts despite your best efforts?

  • Do you wish your past could just be that –­ your past – without carrying the intense, painful and negative charges that come with it?
  • Do you think if you could better control your mind, all of the things that bother you would just vanish away; but now see that despite your best efforts, the human mind and brain do not work that way?
  • Have you ever gone through, or witnessed, an experience where control and power were taken away from you, or from loved ones (pets included)? Did you feel totally powerless, or fear for your life, or the life of your loved ones? Do the images, emotions and body sensations you experienced then, return to flood you at times, and making you feel now, as you did then?

These are only a few of the countless ways trauma can shatter lives. It is not necessary to have suffered a war, an earthquake, or a physical, emotional, or sexual assault to be a victim of trauma. By definition, trauma threatens our sense of safety and normalcy. In so doing, it overwhelms our nervous system, our brain and our mind.

When we are traumatized, we loose our ability to think clearly, to feel and sense what is really going on; instead of what we dread could be going on. Trauma affects our capacity to adapt to life’s challenges, and to remain resilient.

Contrary to popular and social belief, a person’s inability to move beyond trauma is not a question of poor will, lack of character, or of being broken beyond repair. Because trauma injures our nervous system and our mind so drastically and profoundly, it’s healing requires that we attend and honor both our biology and our psychology. In order to move out of a trauma vortex, we need to address and heal the parts of our brain and mind that are devoted to insuring our survival, and to make sense of the senseless.

It takes tremendous energy to keep functioning while carrying the terror and shame of our perceived weaknesses and vulnerabilities inflicted by traumatic experiences. This is why many victims of trauma tend to isolate and not reach out for help. They are often convinced that there is something terribly wrong with them; that they are broken and defective, and can’t be helped or healed. Unfortunately, this way of feeling and thinking is also a side effect of trauma. It is not the truth, far from it.

If you believe that this applies to you, or someone you care about, PLEASE, reach out to a dedicated trauma therapist. While beginning the process may feel scary, the rewards of freeing yourself from the guilt and shame, the anxiety or the numbness that have taken residence in your body and mind are well worth it!

While you didn’t have control on what happened to you then, you do have control to reach-out for help now! As a certified trauma therapist, I am committed and dedicated in helping you live your best life, out of any trauma vortex that may hold you back. Hope and healing are available, and I invite you to embark on the journey of reclaiming your life!

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