There are things in life that will challenge your beliefs, values, and what you understand at that given moment. Some situations will come into your life unexpectedly and wreak havoc, leaving you feeling lost, confused, and at times cause you to question the sincerity behind people’s motives. It is normal to feel that way when you have undergone a traumatic event.
That’s because when we experience a trauma, it pours into various aspects of our lives. You will try to make sense of what happened and many complex emotions will arise. These emotions range from anger, guilt, shame, and relief.
Sometimes the initial trauma lasts for a prolonged period or can even come in spurts. Sometimes we don’t realize that we are inviting certain situations that can trigger you subconsciously, and sometimes the trauma is inflicted on us.
A sudden traumatic event can leave you feeling helpless to the point that you will surrender to whatever is happening throughout that moment or can cause you to act out in other ways that are abnormal to you, to deflect or save yourself.
Sometimes, depending on what you have undergone, feelings of guilt can arise, causing you to feel as if maybe you didn’t do enough and could have done more.
You may also experience anger—you may question why this traumatic event happened to you, why such careless events took place, and why someone would act out in such damaging ways.
It is also common to feel shame over certain feelings and emotions that you can’t control, for allowing certain behaviors, for acting in unexpected ways, and for what just happened.
Perhaps you have just undergone a traumatic event. Maybe over time, things have accumulated, or it’s from childhood. What is important to take from this is that you need to give yourself time to process what you have undergone. Be honest with yourself about the situation. You have to let go of what you could have done differently.
Allow yourself to mourn if you need to. Allow yourself the space to feel, to sink into your body, to feel your heartbeat. Find comfort in knowing that you are no longer in that place. You are safe.
Healing traumatic stress takes time. It isn’t linear. Like most things in life, it’s going to take a lot of work to get to a place where you feel safe again. It’s going to take time for you to feel emotionally stable again. So take that time, seek out therapy, journal, and talk to people you trust and can be a safe place for you to go to when everything starts to feel like it is caving.
Trauma forces you to create a new narrative for yourself. So, seek out the meaning for what you have undergone. Hold space for your truth. What matters is that you start taking these steps to heal and move past the trauma.
Remember that healing isn’t a linear process. It is messy. Some days will be lighter and some days won’t be. That’s okay—remember to be soft with yourself.