To Deal With Trauma, You Have To Let Yourself Feel

To Deal With Trauma, You Have To Let Yourself Feel

I was 15 years old and I didn’t know what to do with all the feelings that I was experiencing.
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Traumatic events are not just sad things that happen in life that are eventually forgotten in time. These events are painfully heavy. They are burned into your memories and are equally as vivid in recollection as it was the first time you experienced it. The pain, the sadness, the hurt that you felt when the traumatic event hit your life still stings, even if it has been years since it occurred, because when you feel that level of emotion, your heart remembers it forever.

So how does one cope with trauma? How do you deal with the heaviness you are experiencing? To be honest, there is no right answer. Everyone deals with trauma in their own way and because of that, I can only share how I have dealt with trauma in my life. To protect those involved, I will not describe the traumatic event. However, I will describe how I felt.

I was 15 years old and I didn’t know what to do with all the feelings that I was experiencing. So, I shut it all down. I didn’t cry. I didn’t get angry. I didn’t even talk about it. I pretended like nothing was wrong and I focused all my attention in school and my extracurriculars. Anytime anyone would try to bring it up or express how they felt, I would leave the room. I had convinced myself that I wasn’t bothered by the situation so much so that I would get irritated if people tried talking to me about it.

You may be asking how I managed to block what happened to my family out of my head? As I mentioned, everyone copes with trauma differently. I believe that since I was so young, not thinking about the complexity of what happened to my family helped me deal with the situation. However, this method was not effective for long.

After about a year, my block began to weaken. I started getting emotional over things completely unrelated to my family and I started to think about the event more and more. It started to consume what I thought about and I became extremely distracted. Eventually, I couldn’t ignore what I was feeling anymore and I had a breakdown. It felt like the tears that were coming out were slowly easing my pain that I had held on to for so long.

If there is one thing I have learned from my experience is that by avoiding dealing with my family’s problems, I was simply pushing off the inevitable. This caused my later coping to be even more painful and heavy. Had I allowed myself to experience the emotions I was feeling at the time of the event, I probably would have prevented my later suffering. And although I cannot be too hard on myself since we cannot always control how we will react when trauma occurs, it is one thing that I regret looking back on that experience.

If you are reading this and have also been through a traumatic situation, I speak directly to you. However you choose to deal with what has happened, as long as it is healthy and not hurting anyone including yourself, is a valid way to cope. Take your time and process what has happened the best way you can. It will be difficult and you will feel confused and conflicted, but know you will get through it. Do not feel ashamed to seek out the comfort of family, close friends and/or professional help. It does not make you weak; in fact, the simple recognition that you need help truly defines what strength is.

Cover Image Credit: Health Comu

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Being Sick In College Is A Real Struggle

Being sick in college is definitely not as fun as having a sick day in middle school or high school.

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Something that I have had to deal with multiple times these past two semesters is being sick while in school. It can be a real pain especially depending on what type of sickness it is. I have had tonsillitis, mono, and I'm pretty sure I also had the flu.

Being at school and away from home can make being sick worse because there is nobody to take of you such as your parents. Another thing is having to make the decision to get the rest that your body needs in order to feel better or staying on top of your assignments to avoid falling behind. My parents will always tell me to get a good night's sleep so my body can feel better the next day. However, sometimes I will feel more stress if my work isn't getting done and I feel like I'm falling behind and leaving things to get done in the last minute.

Currently, I am sick now and the past few days haven't been easy, but I still attended all my classes so I wouldn't miss any material or assignments that were given. I usually end up feeling the worst at night when trying to fall asleep, and by that time the doctors are not present at the student health center. Even though my health is important I usually don't like taking too much time out of my day to go to the health center to see a doctor. Some days I don't really have much free time before the evening.

I don't believe I have been over-exerting myself, but I don't want to just stay in my bed all day and sleep, even though that may be what is best for me. Most professors will be understanding if I email them and provide them a doctor's note as well, but I also just got back from a conference where I had to miss two days of classes next week.

I have been trying to keep hydrated so that way my body can fight the sickness. Also, I have been told if you stay hydrated you can flush the virus out of your body quicker.

Eating can also be a pain when you have a sore throat, for the past couple of days I have tried to have some soup in order to help. Most meals I would have to force myself to eat something of substance in order to give my body some type of energy in order to get through the day. It's also never fun not being able to breathe out of your nostrils. If it wasn't my nose being stuffed, then it would be constantly runny so there was no winning that battle.

Looking back, I probably should have done a bit more work over spring break in order to get ahead in the case that something like this would happen. I wanted my break to be exactly that, a break. After not being home for a few months I just wanted some time off to relax.

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