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Trauma Work and Recovering from Abuse

Rebecca Hilliard

Guest Blogger

Recovering from trauma and abuse can feel like the loneliest thing in the world sometimes. It often hurts more than the trauma itself and it can feel like no one else understands. When you start trying to heal and face what happened to you instead of continuing to run from it, you feel ALL the feelings that were repressed and shut down during the trauma. It wasn’t safe to feel those feelings then. It’s common to feel numb during and after trauma but when you start processing it and healing from it all those feelings come up. It can make it feel like the trauma work is actually breaking you again instead of helping you. A lot of times when you start processing trauma the flashbacks, anxiety, PTSD, and panic can get worse at first because the memories come to the surface more instead of being pushed away. It’s so incredibly difficult and so hard to explain to people what you’re going through. Before you started doing trauma work you might have been able to ‘function better’ and do more because you weren’t being constantly flooded by memories and feelings from the trauma. It’s hard to explain to people why now you feel so crippled by it all. And it’s hard for them to understand. Life is so different for people who haven’t been through trauma and it’s hard for them to understand what it’s like for those of us who have.

I’m currently in the middle of feeling crippled by my trauma and the work I’m doing to heal. This feels harder for me than the abuse I went through. Feeling numb feels easier. But keeping yourself numb all the time isn’t sustainable. It comes out sideways and results in self-destructive behaviors. Before I started doing trauma work, I was really suicidal, self-harming, and had a severe eating disorder. But I’m healing from those things now, even though the emotions are overwhelming.

I can’t tell you that I’ve gotten through all my trauma work and that it’s worth it on the other side because I’m not there yet. But I can tell you that I KNOW it will be worth it. It will be worth it to feel like I’m actually living for the first time. It will be worth it to not be crippled by my PTSD, anxiety, emotions, memories, or self-destructive behaviors. I’m working my ass off because I want to feel better and I know that it’s possible, even if it takes many more years. It’s proven that healing from PTSD is possible. You can literally rewire your brain. I’m currently doing that now. And imagine how amazing life will be without the constant feeling that something terrible is about to happen. Imagine how amazing it will be to be able to hang out with a friend and not be overwhelmed by anxiety and panic. Imagine what it will be like to feel happy and glad you’re alive. I’m holding on for those things. I’m fighting for those things. I will not give up until I get there. I know it’s possible. I know it will be worth it. For me and for you. All these things are possible for both of us. I’m not giving up. I hope you don’t either.

Remember, there is hope and you don't have to go through this alone. There is a community waiting for you on the WhiteFlag App.

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