Discovering Your Trauma
Hello, and happy Thanksgiving week, friend! I hope this week is finding you with much to be grateful for, and a heart full of love for yourself as much as others in your life.
This is the second installment, week two of my workshop-style blog series designed to help you step out of where you are stuck and into the life you were meant to live. One with passion, confidence, and growth! Last week was week one, where we talked about shifting your mindset to one of growth, as is necessary for your journey to getting unstuck, and achieving your fullest potential. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to go back and read week one before proceeding, and subscribe to be sure you’ll get the rest of the workshops right to your email as they are posted!
Today we are honing in on complex trauma education. I will share some of my experience with trauma, healing, and how I’ve worked to recover and grow despite the difficult parts of my journey. Then, I’ll share some of the ways you can discover and identify trauma in your life that may be holding you back.
Today, I am thankful and proud as hell to say that I am in a place where (most of the time) I truly love the person I am, the opportunities I have created for myself, and the life I have worked tirelessly to build… but it wasn’t always a given that I’d make it here to this place of peace and confidence. For a long time, I was incredibly stuck. As is true for most, life wasn’t always easy for me. In fact, the beginning, I would venture to say, was rockier than most (TW: CSA).
From a very young age, I was sexually abused by someone my family and I trusted emphatically. Due in part to the fact that I grew up in a very religious and abusive home, I kept silent about these experiences and completely blocked them out. Many years later, when I came to rediscover these blocked secret memories, I told my family, and I wasn’t believed. I was accused of lying, among other things, which led to an extreme lack of perceived self-value.
After these experiences, I would go on to self-medicate and develop a substance abuse problem. I got married when I was very young, to my first husband who was nearly twice my age. I was constantly fearful of opening up to anyone, for fear of being shut down and not believed again. My belief that I had no value was reinforced when my first marriage failed and I had no one to confide in. When I met my now husband, I quickly married again and got pregnant. We were a blended family, and with everything happening so fast, it was a lot. I felt like my life was out of my control, my marriage was struggling, and then my dad died. My perceived value had never been lower, and I knew I needed to change something.
By some miracle, a dear friend who was going through a coaching program needed a guineapig client, and I was offered the opportunity. She helped me discover tools to heal my trauma, and I went from feeling insane to feeling inspired. As I went through the steps, I was finally able to let go of what I thought was my story and get unstuck. I was able to realize my true worth and value, which then allowed me to decide that I needed to also become a coach and get certified to help other women to also change their story and become unstuck.
If you want to hear more about my personal journey with trauma and recovery, check out my recent podcast episode.
Trauma vs. Complex Trauma
PsychCentral has a great article with the definition of complex trauma and the difference between trauma and complex trauma. The article states, “Trauma may refer to a single incident, while complex trauma refers to a series of traumatic events that take place over a long period of time, like months or years.” It goes into detail on how trauma develops and ramifications of unresolved trauma long term, especially its effect on a person’s nervous system.
Trauma’s Effect on the Body
Trauma and complex trauma have the ability to wreak havoc on your physical and mental health. No matter how well you may be coping or masking the problem, if trauma is an underlying issue, your body and mind are suffering as a result. Your body keeps the score regardless of your outward denial.
Inner turmoil, no matter how buried, leads to high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. High levels of cortisol can lead to weight gain, heart disease, depression, anxiety and many other physical ailments. Additionally, unresolved trauma is connected with a higher likelihood of self-medicating with alcohol, tobacco and other dangerous substances.
Discovering and Confronting Your Trauma
The first step to taking back control of your life and getting unstuck is facing your trauma head-on. I’m going to be perfectly honest with you, this is not going to be an enjoyable or comfortable experience. Though, it is absolutely essential to your healing and growth. Before you commence on this journey, you’re going to have to dig deep for your why; keeping it top of mind on the hard days, and staying committed wholeheartedly to the life you want for yourself.
Actions to take on your path to trauma discovery and confrontation:
1. Pay attention: When you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, angry, low value, pause to pay attention to what is causing the feeling in that moment.
2. Feel: It’s easy to distract yourself and push down feelings you don’t enjoy. Instead, when they arise, allow yourself to feel.
3. Reflect: As you experience the feelings and emotions, what experiences from your past are you reminded of? What might be at the root of what you’re feeling?
4. Confront: Call out the trauma you have identified. Once you have discovered or identified a trauma that is affecting you, it’s really important to take action. Journal about it, meditate about it, find a trusted person to discuss about it.
These actions take practice. Don’t expect to make ground-breaking discoveries right away. Trauma and complex trauma have most often had years to take root in your mind and body, it will take time to process too. Also, you don’t have to do it alone. If you’re struggling with this process, consider a coach or therapist to guide you through the process. That’s what it took for me!
As a Certified Transformational Nutrition and Life Coach, I am on a mission to help women who have discovered they haven’t been putting themselves first. I would love to hear from you and what you struggle with. My doors and heart is always open for business and it is my life mission to help you, my soul sister, feel the emotional freedom that I now feel. Book a completely free consultation to learn more!
Lucie Mitchell, CTNC & CTLC
Fierce and Beautiful Wellness, LLC
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This blog post is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not medical, mental health or healthcare advice. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any illness, medical condition or mental or emotional condition.