Mental Health

How Do I Heal from Trauma?

HOW DO I HEAL FROM TRAUMA edwin-andrade

For the past decade, my psychological and spiritual healing has been an upward spiral of understanding and acceptance as I come to terms with how my trauma has influenced my current belief system about myself and the world, and how it continues to affect my thoughts, feelings, and behavior in the present. I have learned a great deal about myself.

However, my emotional healing has remained stagnant. I continue to be completely dissociated from my trauma on an emotional level. As I mentioned in previous posts, I have had moments of anger, but it is sometimes unclear to me if they are related to my trauma, simply a symptom of bipolar disorder, or a response to something or someone that goes against my personal belief system. The anger lasts for a moment or two before my knee-jerk survival mechanism to squash it takes over.

This stuffing of anger could be due to a fear that, if I allow myself to feel it fully, I will be overwhelmed and consumed by something which I cannot control. I do not think it is my inner child, Penelope, who feels the anger. I think she feels pain, guilt, sadness, fear, shame, self-loathing, and confusion as to why such devastating and heinous events had happened to her. It is I, the woman, who most likely feels rage, not only for the stolen innocence of my childhood, or for the stealing of bits of my soul from my other rapes, but for all those who have suffered at the hands of another. It is I, the woman, who is afraid of losing control.

As for Penelope, she will not be able to heal until I allow myself to feel all that she feels. For her to heal, I must allow the intensity of her feelings to flow through me. I must allow myself to embrace them, welcome them. Only by doing so will those feelings be resolved.

Penelope longs for me to give her this gift. She is tired of holding onto pain and fear, shame and self-loathing. But she doesn’t have the power to let go. It is I who must release her from these feelings that keep her trapped in the past. But, for me to release them, I must feel these emotions fully. Not just feel them, I must experience them. So, how do I accomplish such a terrifying feat?

The first step is to become still. I need to silence my thoughts. I need to center myself in calm. Only then will I be able to hear Penelope’s voice. I need to ask her to show me her pain.

I think the best way for me to do this is to bring myself back to one instance at a time, one traumatic event in my childhood that caused such intense feelings. I need to immerse myself in that experience – the sights and sounds and smells, the physical sensations. I need to ask Penelope to show me how that event affected her. I need to fight through my fear and allow myself to be there with her. I need to once again be the child who was hurt, betrayed and threatened into secrecy. I need to let the floodgates open.

I need to believe in my strength. I need to believe that I have the power to not become devoured by her pain. I need to believe that I will be able to bring myself back to the present moment, to ground myself in the here and now, to know that I am safe.

So, this is my journey as I move forward. In one regard, I am ready. In another, I cling to my fear. This is the first step. I must find a way to work through my fear. The best way I know how to do this is just jump – take the leap into the void. I have found my way through the darkness before, and I can do so again if I find myself headed in that direction.

This is the path I must take if I am ever to release myself from my woundedness. I know that I am up for the challenge. I make a commitment to myself to delve deeper into my past, deeper than I have ever ventured before.

6 thoughts on “How Do I Heal from Trauma?”

  1. I didn’t realize what a gift it was that my Mom died because I hadn’t grieved anyone like I grieved her. It allowed the rage blocking other grief to surface. As each chapter was written in my favorite chair sipping coffee, the memories came and so did the tears. They came as I was ready for them, not all at once. And with it came the joyful times, also with tears. It took weeks, and each morning I felt great anticipation for what might arise. A great expansion was taking place, an opening up to myself and becoming whole.

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  2. Good for you for diving in. Not easy, but oh so rewarding. In my own healing journey, I discovered that my inner child is not just one being, but came forth as many, representing different ages and events. While my inner three year old was scared and sad, my inner teenager was filled with anger and rage. Sending you strength for your journey.

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    1. Thank you for you words of support and encouragement. My inner child also comes through at different ages. I’m just so tired of moving through life feeling numb and dissociated. I know there is so much below the surface. I hope I will be able to reach the buried feelings so that I can heal them.

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  3. It does take courage to do what you are doing – to delve deep into the trauma – but it is so worth the extreme effort it takes. The rewards are endless for me now. I still have the hypervigilance and fears but I can hold them with such love and compassion. I am sending love and compassion to you as you go into the void. I will be thinking of you.

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    1. Thank you. I look forward to the day when I can hold the effects of my trauma with love and compassion. I know it will take time – I expect some resistance from the part of me that wants to protect itself from feeling pain, but I am confident that I will get there. Thanks again. 🙂

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  4. You are incredibly brave with your healing journey. Naming that its fear and knowing you have to walk through and feel the feelings is definitely the first step and you’ve already done it. You named it! You will keep healing! And all your lovely parts of you will heal too. 😊

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