When Trauma Speaks

When Trauma Speaks

It's talking. But do you hear it?
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It's 5 AM. You just woke up after an exhausting string of nightmares, but you don't need to be up until 9. You lay there for a few more minutes, feeling frozen, until you finally muster up the ability to get up. Throughout the day the disturbing images that your mind has conjured sit and wait to pop back up whenever you have a slight reminder - odds are, you're at work by now and skipped breakfast. You just want to focus at work. You don't want to think about that, not right now - not ever, really, but right now is particularly inconvenient. Your coworkers start to notice that you don't seem right, and either avoid you or ask questions. Or they get angry because you can't seem to focus. And you don't know if you want to talk about it or not.

Do you want to talk about it? Should you talk about it? And to who? Questions race through your head.

You get off work, and still you don't want food - you go home and feel as though time is stopped. Every so often, you feel overwhelmed, and you can't put your finger on why. Your friend - or even significant other - texts you.

You're notably quiet.

You feel lost. You're saying nothing, but everything at the same time.

All of these little deviations in behavior are just little signs that trauma is speaking. It says nothing and says everything at the same time, puzzling both the person afflicted and the people around him/her. And that's what we're here to talk about.

We're here to talk about the obvious discomfort you see in people when you're notably less talkative. We're here to talk about the deafeningly-loud silence when a survivor admits they've had a bad day. The looks, the silence, the blatant avoidance - it speaks as loud as their experiences.

These situations are real. These people are real. That is someone's day, and you might not even know it.


You're at work, too, and your day is going just fine. Maybe you don't even notice how that person is acting. You're thinking about your plans for later in the day, and why is that your problem, anyway? This just happens with said friend or co worker. No biggie... right?

Make note, though: psychologically, trauma is a powerful thing - it can alter your brain chemistry and enlarge your amygdala. This, obviously, can cause deviations in behavior, permanently. It can also cause the more obvious ones. It would be hard for everything to, literally, go back to normal - not as if you're permanently thinking about it, but more like, say, a heightened state of anxiety. From here, it marches forward.

But do you see it?


Be mindful if trauma is talking.

It's strangely silent.

Cover Image Credit: wellsanfrancisco.com

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Mental Health Is Important, Too

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There comes a time in your life, maybe a few different times, when something in you just clicks. You know, the moments when you can't really explain it but it all just seems to make so much sense but you still don't understand it. But in it, you understand that you get to move forward in the next chapter of whatever it is you have been working toward.

The element about this that makes it so frustrating is not being able to understand it or explain it. It is one of those things you just have to trust is good and then build on it. It is really hard sometimes to just "trust" that the feeling of reassurance or peace (maybe?) is something you can depend on when you struggle so much with uncertainty.

I am almost 23 years old, and I have experienced these feelings a few different times, mostly in the last few years. But there are several people (some that I knew personally) who don't ever, and won't ever, get to experience these moments in their lives. There is a sort of pain and suffering that comes along with never being able to feel or reach that next chapter. The feelings of being stuck, being trapped, sometimes moving backward and further away from goals.. it can be the loneliest place to be.

Add in the factor of labeling- labeling someone a loner, someone who pushes everyone away, someone who never accomplishes anything, someone who is a loser, someone who is a nobody, someone who is nothing, someone who is a mistake, someone who did something they never did.. these are the types of things that contribute to people feeling like there is no "next chapter" to reach and strive for.

I am honestly not sure what to take from this article... Do I take from it that there are people in this world who strive for greatness and they do nothing less until they reach it? Do I take from it that there is darkness in this world that consumes people so much that it destroys them? Could I take from this that there are people in this world who experience both the need for success and the feeling of never-ending darkness? I will leave that up to your interpretation.

I just know my story... I know pieces of others' stories... I know of a young girl who took her life way too soon because of labels... I also know those labels to push someone toward success. I know of a young boy to be bullied to death, and I know of people who continue to be labeled even though they are no longer with us because it justifies some peoples actions.

I wish that there was a way to make a difference- a difference in homes, in communities, and in schools to help authority figures and children realize that this behavior is not okay. I wish more teachers cared as much about the conversations in the hallways as they do their low salary. I wish principals cared as much for the wellbeing and whole story of an entire student rather than the grade they see on a test or the undisciplined actions they present in a classroom. I wish parents would understand that it all starts at home- discipline your children but don't be so strict that you are abusive; neither of these things produces good qualities.

I hear all too often, with a brother in a public high school, of the amount of superior behavior that goes on in schools with little to no attention paid to the actual problem. When will state education systems recognize the importance of mental health, bully and suicide prevention systems, and assemblies addressing the deaths of students and actions of abusive behavior going on within their education systems and communities?

I truly do not understand why we are still talking about some subjects but not others. Mental health is no less important to that of equality of race, gender, and socioeconomic status. If anything, it should play a bigger hand seeing as though it is usually because of race, gender, and socioeconomic status that bullying lays a foundation and builds on.

Let us pay attention to everyone getting a fair and equal shot at life and reaching those moments that we cannot quite describe but understand when we feel them. Let everyone get that opportunity to reach their next chapter in life. Don't be a part of the period that ends their book, be the sentence that makes them want to turn their page

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