5306 Ballard Ave NW l Seattle, WA 98107 l (206) 706-2839
"Trauma is hell on earth. Trauma resolved is a gift from the gods."
I must start by saying I believe most, if not all, people have experienced some kind of trauma in their lives. Many have suffered multiple traumas. There are well-known traumas, such as being the victim of violence, witnessing violence, war involvement, and natural disasters. However, common life events can cause trauma symptoms too. Some examples are the death of a loved one, a car accident, divorce, relocating, loss of financial security, serious health problems, and a betrayal of trust. It is not uncommon for trauma survivors to minimize their experience, saying that it was not that bad and oftentimes they are hard on themselves for not just getting over it. If it is still impacting you, it was that bad. Furthermore, there is likely a good reason why you have not been able to put it behind you.
In the years I have worked with trauma, clients describe these common experiences after the event: avoiding social situations they used to enjoy, being startled easily, feeling like no one understands them, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Many become much more self-critical than they were prior to the traumatic event(s). Trauma survivors consistently tell me they feel like they cannot talk about their trauma because people either do not understand, or cannot handle the intense emotions they feel surrounding their trauma experience. Every trauma client I have spoken with has said that their life has been changed forever and what they want most is to just feel normal again. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
In general, I find that our culture is ill-prepared to handle another person’s intense emotional pain. Our friends and loved ones will attempt to resolve our pain by distracting us with keeping us busy, making us laugh, changing the subject, giving us yummy things to eat or a drink, and drying our tears with tissues. They are well-meaning, loving people. However, you move through trauma by finding ways to feel secure and stable again, by grieving the losses, by being able to experience the feelings, and by taking back your life little by little. Being discouraged from talking about what happened to you can actually hinder your recovery. Additionally, when our family and friends cannot cope with our pain, it causes us to carry the burden of trauma alone. This can make you feel awfully lonely. Not everyone is aware that telling your story (over and over sometimes) is part of the healing process. When we do not understand why something has happened, we talk about it to try to make sense of it or to resolve it. Telling our story, therefore, is a means to an end.
If you are struggling to heal from a traumatic experience, please call to get the help you deserve.