Trauma can be a scary word and the effects can be devastating, but it doesn’t require a capital T trauma like abuse or abandonment to leave some pretty deep scars. The clients I work with often deal with everyday traumas like bad bosses, unkind exes, and not perfect growing up experiences. Any one of these can leave us a little hobbled in one area or another, and with questions about how to heal and move forward.
Here’s an example of a little t trauma from my own experience. In my early 20s I was in a car accident where another driver turned into me on a yellow traffic light. Ever since, I cringe when I see a light turn yellow, and inwardly prepare myself to be hit by a car as I go through the intersection. At first after this accident, I wouldn’t enter an intersection at all if there was any chance the light could turn. I found though, that this only made me more anxious. My efforts to control and avoid this dangerous situation were costing me a lot of energy, not to mention creating a different kind of danger around me. I decided I was tired of the constant vigilance, and a few months later decided to grit my teeth and start going through yellow lights. Those first few were painful and fearful, and it didn’t go away immediately but I can truly say every yellow light is easier than the last. More importantly, I have my freedom. I’m not bound up by having to constantly scan my environment for that kind of danger.
Most of our little t traumas aren’t as simple as car accidents, but the principles to address them are all the same. Here’s how to get started:
Resist the urge to avoid. Keeping the fear in the dark only gives it more power. Push yourself to the point of being uncomfortable (not terrified, but at least a bit scared). Repeat. That knee jerk reaction will diminish over time.
Address the trauma directly. There are all sorts of ways to do this- traditional therapy, energy medicine, healing prayer, Splankna therapy. If you tried one and didn’t get the results you were looking for, try another modality. Every psyche is different and has different needs.
Again, the theme for this series- take the first step. You can heal, but it requires you to face that trauma. Determine that step one and commit to taking it.
What helps you to sort through your little t traumas?