Trauma can be a deeply disturbing experience. It can come from a physical injury such as a car accident or it can be an experience that leaves long lasting effects mentally or emotionally such as abuse.
Physical trauma is quite obvious. It’s the other forms of trauma that can be much harder to see leaving us wondering what exactly is wrong! Things like the aftermath of rape, emotional abuse and sexual victimization.
Luckily, there are signs that trauma can be negatively impacting you and even holding you back from living the life you’ve always desired.
Here is a list of what unresolved trauma can look like in your everyday life.
- Unexplained chronic pain
I remember being told years ago when my grandmother passed away I was just taking too long to go through the traditional stages of grief. But the interesting thing is this:
I knew exactly why I was stuck! It was the therapist who had no clue how to help me. And at the time, I lacked the ability to express myself clearly.
The real issue was that for 39 years I had a vision of what my life would look like and it included having a relationship with my grandmother that did not include the black cloud and anxiety that accompanied the sexual and emotional abuse I endured at the hands of her son, a catholic priest.
I had not worked through THAT loss and because she had passed, I lacked the tools and knowledge about how to resolve this. (These things did not come until about a decade later)
What I did back then was merely try to make my way. I’d get up and go to work. I’d eat and vomit. I’d drink myself to sleep. I’d jog until my knees almost gave out. And I remained isolated for self preservation and survival.
Here is a system to identify if unresolved trauma is creating problems in your life.
- First identify what your current behavior is that you’re wanting to shift. For example, do you procrastinate or do you binge?
- Second, sit in the energy of that behavior and notice its energy.
- Third, allow your mind to take you back to a time where the energy you identified in step number two was used quite often.
- Fourth, tell someone about this new awareness.
Let me give you an example. One of my behaviors was procrastinating. I always thought I had to wait for the right time. Second, as I sit in the energy of procrastination (for me) I notice that this energy is the same as when I was a child waiting for the abuse to be over. Once the abuse was over I felt that would be the right time to do something. As I was able to write about this experience and share it with a friend, I felt better and it was easier to take action and do things I truly wanted (and needed) to do.
The next time you find yourself not living up to the dream you have for your life, take a mini inventory. Come back to this post. And use the four step tool listed above.