Step By Step
Professionals who write about trauma these days say that when a person experiences a trauma (small or large) it is important to allow the trauma to “keep moving through” our psyche.
Last week I experienced a trauma that bumped into a bigger trauma that looms in my life—Death.
Death was present in the trauma and the experience trying to move through it was messy.
The activating event lingered and I awoke in the middle of the night thinking about it, so I decided right then to write a list of what I’d deliberately done to allow the trauma to keep moving.
Tonight I returned to the list and in italics I remarked on the list from the distance of one week away.
- own my feelings
- Owning my feelings is when someone asks me if I am okay and I allow myself to reply “about a C-” rather than parroting the acceptable “I’m fine.”
- defend my feelings
- In sharing the trauma with a close friend, she neither “saw” or “heard” me, but immediately let me know that nothing like that bothered her. When she later realized what she’d done, she called to apologize to me and we had a meaningful conversation that healed the previous “miss” and contributed to releasing some of the overall trauma.
- utilize distractions
- Distracting myself, rather than ruminating on what happened, helps me to gain space from difficult feelings and gives me time to sort them out in small bits.
- embrace the heart of the story
- Ahhh….now we get to it. I reminded myself that it is okay to be afraid of something; upset by something; fear something; and have your day kidnapped by something. I reminded myself that I am only human.
- A warm bed, soft blanket, is a bandaid that rarely fails me; a good night’s sleep, or a well-timed nap, is a great “pause” in the game of life that can be so difficult at times in multiple directions.
There is no “right way” to solve the traumas that come and go in our lives; there is just “our way” however that looks. Feeling into my body, I sense a bit of heaviness that still remains.
But I’m okay with an imperfect process since that is the nature of being a human on planet earth.
I’m okay with being mostly okay with it.
If it pops up to ask for more attention, I will do my best to respond at that time. In the meantime, I feel proud of my efforts and shall leave it at that for now.
Thanks for listening.