Day Fifty Seven
The language and knowledge around trauma responses, PTSD, and C-PTSD is expanding by the day. It wasn’t long ago that trauma responses were solely identified in those who came back from war, or people who were victims of violent crimes.
It is now widely known that there is a huge breadth of trauma, that effects probably every human being in existence in various ways.
Not everyone develops the same trauma responses as a result of the same events, what is traumatising for one is manageable for another, and even in our own experience we may be more effected by things that are regarded as “less traumatising” than others. It’s always worth going into detail with this with a trained professional, it was life changing for me. Then the onus was on myself to deal with how I handle my trauma responses as a human in the world.
I am particularly sensitive to ambulance sirens, being touched from behind, and men that look like my original abuser. These things occur in real life, and dreams, and usually they will elicit a response where my body doesn’t perceive it as a memory of something that happened, but as something that is currently happening to me. Then I go into fight, flight, freeze. Sometimes all three of these things can happen simply on my walk to work, so I have to be ready.
Sometimes the “why” isn’t as pertinent in the moment. I don’t need to lean into every feeling and response as it happens, sometimes I need to go through it without judgement or the target on personal-betterment, I just need to get to the other end of it, to unpack later in a safe place. I soothe my central nervous system with breath and affirmations, I ground myself with naming things around me and identifying what is “real”, I sing soothing songs to myself in my head, and I assure myself I am safe and it will be ok. And I don’t drink, no matter what. I have a highlight on my Instagram of strategies and self-soothing things I do on a day where my trauma is close to the surface.
Do you have a strategy for your trauma responses as they pop-up unexpectedly?
Three tiny things:
- Engage in an alternate rebellion.
- Listen to a new album, one you’ve been meaning to listen to for a while.
- Draw/create/rip up/doodle something. It can be powerful, expressive, or silly.