Unpacking Trauma Series: Results and Impacts of Trauma
As you're all quite familiar with by now, my focus is not on the direct acts of trauma one has experienced, but the result and impact of these direct acts that reside within the mind, body, and soul once the trauma ends. I work to educate on how the body and trauma commingle for much longer than anyone seems to want to discuss. Mostly, because it's scary. Secondly, because it's undoubtedly complex. Thirdly, because our systems at play focus on single-issued protocols and methods based on singularly labelled events/acts/experiences. If the report is believed, emphasis on if, the justice system may remove the abuser from the victim. But, then what? Then nothing is done. Then the victims are left to seek out another abuser because we as a community and justice system haven't done anything to provide resources for the victim, nor change their circumstances. Not only that, but what is being done with the abuser?
The lack of education on trauma creates environments where the work being done often extends far more harm than justice, and healing isn't even a topic of discussion. Acts of trauma may be fixed, unchangeable, and concrete, but the result and impact of this immoveable entity is intimately fluid and ever changing. Thus, if we want to do anything about this cycle, if we want to cultivate sustainable healing and resources, we must pull back the lens and look at trauma from a whole body perspective. We must look at trauma from a intersectional, expansive, plane.
How you can be 60 and wake up feeling 5? What does it feel like to have your amygdala feel like it's raging war on you? Why is it that one's DNA is not only scientifically proven to morph when impacted by sustained trauma, but the very DNA impacted can likely be passed onward through generations even if future trauma isn't experienced? Why does the label "Generational abuse" exist? How can someone literally feel the impact and result of the act of trauma that their ancestors experienced, even if they themselves have not experienced it? What is the abuser-victim cycle really, and how does one exit it? How powerful is trauma, really? How powerful is the mind, body, and soul who experiences it?
Trauma comes in a multiplex of forms. It does not solely exist within my niche focus of sexual abuse, childhood trauma, or sex trafficking. Trauma is everywhere. From the death of a loved one, to divorce, to job loss, to miscarriages, to car accidents, to racism and systemic oppression, to working 40 hours a week and not being able to afford your food, shelter, and safety, to war, to a pet dying, to a break up, to a friendship loss, to an injury, to burn out. Given the many experiences of trauma, and how personally and individually experienced it is, we can also begin to discuss how distinctive the manners in which people will heal from it can be as well. Alongside that, how every one of these humans will be demanded to adapt to survive it, and how their personal intersections and privileges will be intimately involved in that adaptation. Basically, I should not only say, "I have never met another human who hasn't experienced trauma," but add, "Every single experience of such traumas has/will be experienced differently, and every single autonomous individual will cope and heal from it differently, too."
I believe that if we are experiencing something consistently, and our body, mind, and soul are inviting/demanding us to feel it, the work to be done isn't to uncover why. It is to kneel down beside that part of us, whether or not we even know what part it is, and listen...
That recognition alone is powerful.
That pause, no matter how minute, is immensely brave.
That ability to feel is privileged, because when we're facing shit consistently, we often have no space within us to even feel. We're numb; dissociated, detached.
Lack of feeling is an adaption that provides sustainability to survive the impacts and results of traumas, and as we exit those traumas, our powerful mind, body, and souls will absolutely seek ways to keep that dissociation, detachment, and numbness in their backpocket. Either through addiction, restriction, or another trauma.
That. Is. Okay.
You're not unworthy of finding a new source of coping and healing because you crave that.
I believe it.
I believe you.
Healing from our experiences and the impact and result of such experiences requires resource. Not an external methodology or dogma, but a safety that invites us to harness and reclaim our own within ourselves. Within the spaces that feel unsafe, because of what/how they were impacted.
To hold compassion within this work is a foundation that isn't often taught, but is necessary. Personally, my goal is to be able to operate from 50% survival and 50% authenticity in my life. That for me feels attainable. Not daily, sometimes not even hourly, but definitely something to work towards with conscious effort. I've been privileged to do enough work to know when I am operating from either side, and sometimes surrendering to it doesn't mean being authentic...it means choosing operations of coping skills that have consequence for my mind, body, and soul. But that is also, oddly, what my mind, body, and soul needed then. To just survive it, because we were exhausted. To utilize the reserves within the armour, instead of break it down and break with it.
Breaking down is magic. Human magic, that is. A raw, embodiment, of personal breath. Of opening one's hands and allowing oneself to just fucking "be" when that choice was never given. That "be-ing" may look like snotting and sobbing on your knees, or it could look like laughing over shit nobody would ever laugh at, but it's ours and it's allowed. That is the key...allowed.
Unpacking trauma will never look simple, but it doesn't mean it's impossible or shouldn’t be discussed. I'm going to attempt to do that here and now within a series, and provide resources along the way.
If you're enrolled in my monthly patreon, you will be receiving goodies of resources from me to you. Along with in the upcoming months insight on nutrition as I study a nutrition course in school to partner with my trauma work I do.
Whatever and however you're existing right now, it's heard.