Doctors often use the word trauma to describe the effects of serious injury to the physical body, and the bruising that is left behind from the sudden impact. We can also experience emotional trauma in the same way, and the bruising can be just as severe as with a physical wound. Just like a wound to our physical bodies, emotional trauma requires care and attention so that it may heal.
If the trauma is left unresolved, it may affect our sense of self and wholeness as a person. This in turn affects our relationships, by bringing a piece of “baggage” into our present. Emotional trauma can result from any experience in which a person feels that their life or well being is endangered. These experiences can be a divorce, and affair, or other life changing events. Our natural instinct is to protect ourselves, and may manifest as avoidance, denial or repression of the event. Symptoms of unresolved trauma may include addictive behaviors, anxiety and depression.
The impact on relationships is severe- wounds that continue to fester, low self esteem, and a complete unawareness of the intensity of negative emotions that are present. Triggers are common, and may unintentionally reopen the wound.
When trying to heal a trauma from your past, what can you do to resolve the unresolvable?
If you have had a traumatic event that is affecting your relationship, here are some ways to begin the healing process.
1. Understand trauma and its affects- read books, talk with a therapist, and get some outside help. Trauma is very difficult to deal with alone.
2. Develop emotional resilience- as hard as it is, you need to experience your feelings, not push them away. This can also be accomplished through the help of a therapist.
3. Learn new ways of self soothing- develop self caring behaviors that give you positive feelings. These positive feelings will also spill over into your other relationships.
4. Make sure that you give yourself time- and lots of it. Healing does not take place overnight, and everyone heals at their own pace.
Healing of trauma is like the healing of any other broken body part, and essential to a whole, healthy life. Making efforts to heal brings us more into the present, making room for connection and intimacy with our loved ones. If you have suffered a trauma, don’t wait any longer to begin the healing process. You’ll be glad that you did.
Kelly Chicas 2012