Trauma is a trigger inducing word without needing to delve any further. We understand in our modern times that we all have experienced trauma in a variety of intensities and in differing context. Many people are able to move through trauma and lead fairly healthy lives. Others due to many different reasons, have trauma that persists in their lives either by avoiding to look at the trauma and deal with the emotions and feelings around it, or those who are overwhelmed by it daily and have concluded that the trauma is part of them and wont ever be any better. Still there are those who have worked hard to come to terms with their trauma and attempt to move past it, and others that start the process and never quite get through it. Regardless of whether you fall into those categories, the topic we discussed will give you a comprehensive view of exactly what trauma is and how we can navigate through the maze of recovering from it.
The meeting elaborated on the Trauma Recovery Journey and how facing our fear and the unknown as we walk through some very dark places in our past takes courage, and that is where our inner heroine is needed. A relevant aspect of trauma survivors is feeling a level of comfort about their trauma, not enjoying it by any means, they discuss what many of us know about any behavior that we want to change, it is easy to stay where we are because we KNOW it, we have no unknown things to deal with. Some of us live in a trauma response nearly all of our life and the actual acknowledgement that yes its familiar and healthy is uncomfortable. I was living in a hypervigilant state from age 4 until I left home, only to find myself in a horribly abusive relationship right out of high school. The only relief I had was with drugs and alcohol abuse and other forms of self-medication. Healthy lives are uncomfortable when you are finally working to be and stay in one. Letting go of our comfort zone of trauma is hard, waiting for the shoe to drop, picking fights, chaos making, chronic pain, whatever we can do to create what was so familiar to us...yes we do sometimes go there.
"Many people would prefer to decline the invitation or call to healing because there is something comparatively cozy about that state of trauma." Federico Carmona
Some of the consequences of trauma that are revealed in the article are; a sense of powerlessness, nervous system dysregulation, and the big whammy for me "disconnection from the self." The article then discusses the hero/heroine archetype that is needed to take this courageous journey. Basically, anyone who is ready to face their trauma and persevere despite the overwhelming aspects the journey will bring. They will believe wholeheartedly that the journey will be worth it and the healing that comes from it has a reward much greater than just for themselves. The lessons to be learned of most importance is that life is a contradicting and consistent mixture of good and bad, hard and easy, sometimes all at once but no matter the combination or the lack of good...it is a journey we live through because it is our life and we must do it willingly. We discussed how to go about the journey with compassion and the most important part....selfcare and resources going hand in hand. Those of us with the privilege's of therapist, counselors, workshops, retreats, etc., will clearly have a softer more gentle journey. Those without resources must reach out to get the assistance they need. I am posting resources nearly everyday on this website to specifically help those who have limited if any resources. YES you can get through your trauma and some can do the work with limited assistance from others. This group is part of your support network, our members help each other by listening and holding space for you. We have professionals that can assist you, so PLEASE reach out. This meeting is to inspire you, to show you that things can be different, and better. Even just considering that you may be able to become your own hero and do the hard work...that is worth celebrating.
The article was published in "Counseling Today" written by Federico Carmona, and the meetings slide were summarized in my words. I have elaborated specifically on what my own recovery journey includes that have worked for me and have uploaded the whole PowerPoint video presentation available on our website at nextstepwew.org.
In Service and Love,
Kimberly Sprintz, Founder and President
Women Empowering Women Support Groups
"We are better together!"
Citation: Carmona, F. (2021, July). A hero/heroine's journey: A road map to trauma healing. Counseling Today, 64(1), 45-49. https://www.ctcounseling.org