If you would have talked to me a couple years ago about Trauma I would have looked at you with a blank, unsure face – much like a pre-teen would when being talked to about sex.
“Trauma what? You mean like trauma because you had something crazy happen to you? Like a car accident? Or an attack? Or war? Yeah. No. I haven’t experienced anything traumatic. For the most part. I guess I’ve been in a few car accidents. But nothing serious… “
I kept the word quite separate from my own experiences for quite some time. Actually, to tell you the truth the word intimidated me.
Fast forward to now, after a whole lot of studying, learning and practicing I now have a totally different view on the word and what it means to have trauma. I’ll even admit that I too have trauma (I know you thought I was perfect… Sorry to burst your bubble!)
This is how I have now come to understand what Trauma is.
Think of trauma not as the traumatic events that have happened to you over the years (thought they play their part). Think of it as stored up, unresolved, unprocessed, incomplete ‘shit’ (for lack of a better word) in your body.
What do I mean by that?
Think of when something traumatic happens to you. Your body’s natural reaction is for adrenalin to be shot through your body to get your muscles ready for action. Your heart will start beating faster and your breathing will change so those muscles can get extra oxygenated blood so that you are ready to react to what is happening. You may be preparing to fight. Or to flee. Another incredible thing our body does when all else fails is freeze. All this happens without you having to put a single thought into the process. It’s your autonomic nervous system doing its thing. How great is that!
Once you feel safe again, the adrenal glands don’t need to fork out any adrenalin or cortisol. Your heart and breath rate slow. The body can start to rest, digest and chill out as it realizes that ‘everything is going to be ok.’
But here’s the thing. This doesn’t always happen. We don’t necessarily let this cycle run its course. Or maybe we’re in an environment where it’s not safe enough to complete this cycle. This sense of being in fight/flight/freeze stays with us.
This can happen from traumatic events. Or from early developmental trauma (both pre and post natal). Or from accumulated stress.
The result? An out of whack nervous system that doesn’t quite know how to function at its greatest potential. This can show up as anxiety, depression, disease, illness, disconnection, dissociation… The list is endless.
Here’s the good news! We can learn how to heal our trauma, to find better regulation and tap into more of our potential! Exciting right!?
Intrigued on how? I work with people on how to do just that through sessions, workshops and working with my influential, inspiring mentor- Irene Lyon on some of her programs. Check her out for lots of free resources or get in touch with me to inquire about us working together one on one!