The word “trauma” originates from the Greek word traumatica, which means wound. And that is exactly what it is – it is a wound; unseen, invisible, yet painful to touch. Even when we feel like it has healed over we can be retriggered, taking our physical body straight back to that traumatic moment of time, feeling powerless and helpless all over again.
Feeling the echoes of past trauma feels like a raw pure overwhelming full-blown stress response in the body as opposed to being more of a head-driven anxiety. When retriggered, it bypasses the thinking part of the brain, and the body re-experiences the trauma as though it is happening all over again in the here and now. It can leave us feeling dazed and confused as to why we are feeling this way, almost like we are lost in a forest with no beaten path to follow, no guidelines to find our way through and out to the other side.
It is scary but what is scary needs to be faced. It is only then that we can truly start to heal our wounds.
The power of trauma is far-reaching. Its narrows our awareness, squews our perception of events and people, and if not properly treated strangulates the natural evolutionary growth of our potential as a human being. What gets repressed becomes stress, hence the very clear correlation in research between childhood trauma and health issues in later life.
To course correct the trauma trance we need to have awareness; an understanding that overwhelming raw pure unruly uncontrollable emotions arriving out of nowhere are there for a reason.
Its like the circuitry in our human organism is shattered and fragmented. And only WE can help this circuitry to rewire in a strong and healthy way.
Remembering that trauma is an ailment based in isolation, it naturally draws us into a disconnective process due to shame and overwhelm. The antidote therefore is to connect with a professional and good support systems to help see ourselves back onto solid ground.
Engage in activities that help you to feel grounded and safe, making space for and acknowledging your feelings as they come up; letting feelings flow through you rather than fighting, resisting or ignoring them. Take exceptionally good care of your health – diet, movement, relaxation and sleep. These factors will all contribute to a strong and healthy rewiring of the affected circuitry in your body.
Our mind and body are like our guardians. They are here to protect us. When we have been heartbroken for example they take on the role of guardsmen at the gateway of our hearts, checking rigorously the intentions and motives of any future potential suitors. When we make a normal mistake in the process of learning, mind and body ensure you never do it again by drilling you on the consequences. And when we experience trauma in our life, these guardians can transport us outside of our body, relocating us to what it believes to be a safe place away from the pain, the hurt and the betrayal.
Our mind does not forget, nor does the body. It contracts when it is hurt and just when it starts to soften and unfurl, if it is reminded of a past hurt, it tightens again and withdraws, becoming numb or lashing out. This signifies the importance of processing trauma.
Your body deserves to heard, your experience deserves to be heard, you deserve to be heard.
Through the healing proces, and with the help of caring support, you will be able to safely express and unpack the heavy load carried in your heart. What seems impossibly scary and foreboding, what you regard to be your weakness, your raw spot and your shame, can transform from what feels like a prison cell to a liberation of your senses as you emerge stronger, healthier, energized and radiant, sharing your beauty and gifts with all those who wish to behold them.
Kira Follas is a qualified counsellor and works as Wellness Practitioner and Group Facilitator in New Zealand. She is also a survivor and thriver of multiple physical and mental-emotional adversities and is a Mum to two awesome teenage lads :)