Loss, divorce, betrayal, mobbing, rejection, instability, violence, verbal assault, being overlooked, anxiety, abandonment, too many diets – all these cause trauma to the body and mind. The trauma I experienced, either got brushed off (even by me) or the „think positive and don‘t have a victim mentality“ adage was forced down my throat. One can hide alot of things but unaddressed trauma will eventually make an appearance screaming for help in countless and strange ways.
Just swim, just get over it!
I was always afraid of deep water and struggled to learn how to swim. When I was a little girl, my father threw me in a pool and screamed „swim, swim, come on swim“. His father had done it to him and out of fear and shock, he swam. This did not happen to me. Water filled my lungs, my father‘s voice was disappearing, my hands grabbed at people, my breath was slowly disappearing. Thankfully, a young man dove in and carried me out of the water. My father, well meaning, stood by completely confused as to why it had worked for him as a child and not for me.
That’s because, people are different! We cannot expect one person to recover superficially from trauma just because aunty or uncle so-and-so had countless trauma and seemed to survive. Aunty or uncle so-and-so might have become drunks, chain smokers, promiscuous, have insomnia, struggle to cope with even the slightest challenges later in life, hoard things, become reclusive, bitterness, overly critical, always on the defensive, unable to stay long in a relationship, unable to let themselves be loved, to name but a very few. These are all, possible signs.
Your voice matters
I‘ve learned now, when someone tells me their concerns, instead of listening to the train running through my mind of all the things I‘m going to reply, the first question I ask that person is „why? What brought about these fears and how can I help you“? The second thing I try to do is inquire what would need to happen so that the fears or concerns are alleviated, third is learning to replace the fear(s) with something positive and asking „what are these fears hindering you from being“. I‘ve had people tell me that they have suffered absolutely no trauma, had a happy childhood but still have issues.
I read somewhere that babies often inherit their mother‘s fears while still in the womb.
In my experience, being heard and taken seriously, is one of the most powerful gifts one can be given. From that point, the healing can start. And, even though complete healing is rare, one does move forward more freely, healthy and peacefully knowing, your experiences and feelings mattered. It‘s not about lingering in one place licking all your wounds and staying stuck. It‘s about addressing the issues so that you can move forward.
(disclaimer: I am not a Dr., merely sharing personal experience. Please share, if yours is different).