How to get over trauma and avoid a living death; and why it doesn’t have to be a long and arduous road to recovery.
How often have you heard (or thought)…
“I will never get over this as long as I live!”?
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that recovery from trauma is by definition, long, arduous and hard I’d have quite a pile of money by now. The thing is that this is simply a belief; admittedly a belief based on experience for many, however that alone doesn’t make it true.
Bear with me here…
I understand that many of you have experienced life as painful and difficult, and have really struggled to get over trauma and distressing events in your lives; and in the absence of alternative information, have come to believe that it must be that way.
Add to this the tendency of beliefs to become self fulfilling and we have a problem. Today I am going to challenge that belief, but please be clear, in doing so I am not trying to minimise your feelings and experiences; not at all, but…
Wouldn’t you like it to be easier?
So why isn’t it?
4 reasons we get stuck
- You haven’t found the right treatment.
- If you believe it is hard or even impossible to get over trauma, you may not even be looking for the right treatment.
- It has become your
- You may be gaining significant benefits from remaining traumatised, without even realising.
Let me explain these 4 reasons further…
- The right treatment:
For a long time Trauma Therapy was almost nonexistent and trauma was rarely recognised as such. “Shell shock” in war veterans was seen as a sign of weakness, not something that needed therapy. Since then there has been much progress, and some good work has been done but much of therapy is only partially effective and it takes a long time.
Furthermore, not all traumas are recognised as such, and even when they are, treatment tends to focus on dealing with and reducing symptoms rather than addressing the cause. Treatment can actually further traumatise patients and entrench the belief that they are incurable. Lives, careers and families are ruined, and it is not surprising that we have ended up believing that it has to be that way…it doesn’t. With The Richards Trauma Process (TRTP) we address the cause.
- You really believe it is hard if not impossible to recover:
It is self explanatory really; logic dictates that if it is impossible to get over something, then sufferers will simply give up, stop looking for a solution, take their pills and accept their fate; or as many have done, commit suicide. Keep in mind here that recovering doesn’t mean it didn’t happen; life definitely sucks at times, there’ no denying that but as someone once said of life, ‘pain is inevitable but suffering is optional’; there is an element of choice here.
- Identity: ‘the fact of being, who or what you are’:
And for many traumatised people that is just it…you are seen as a hopeless victim, and you feel that to be so; a traumatised, damaged individual with no hope of ever being anything different. It seems the rest of society doesn’t want to know us and so it is natural then to find company with others who feel the same and who will listen to your story.
There are numerous support groups for ‘victims of trauma’, ‘victims of rape’ and the like and it is true they can be just that, a great support and comfort. We all need to be heard and have the chance to tell our story…BUT…this is where it gets tricky; if we constantly meet our need for validation and connection by seeking sympathy or even pity, it can become a habit, and an unhelpful one at that; the identity becomes entrenched.
- The benefits you are gaining may actually be keeping you stuck.
We all have the same need to be seen, heard, and valued. We have the need to feel safe and secure; and the need to feel a sense or power and agency. For a traumatised person that can often mean that we hide away in a very small, safe space and get out needs met in ways that may actually unhelpful for our long term recovery.
Something like a support group, or a group of like minded injured friends, can end up being that small safe space where sympathy and pity rule; where stories are told and retold; and hate, resentment, sadness, bitterness and powerless anger are encouraged; with cries of “I’ll never get over this as long as I live” resounding; thus ensuring that while some needs may be met, the pain is kept alive rather than resolved.
You are trapped!
Grouped behind the battlements like soldiers under siege you are trapped; trapped in your past, too afraid to let go of your current comfort and security no matter how meagre, long enough to take that small leap to a better place…a different environment where the view is better and your needs can be met in positive healthy ways. Yes you may need to leave some of those friends behind if they won’t come with you, but you will be able to make new, different friends.
So, what do you choose?
Do you want to get over trauma and live, or do you want to hang onto pain? It is possible to get over it if you choose; people do it all the time and possibly after much worse trauma than yours and they go on to live rich, full lives.
In the end it comes down to believing it is possible to get over it; a willingness to let go and forge a different more positive identity; and a choice to access the therapy that will allow you to truly process the trauma at a body, mind and soul level.
Then you will be free.
To find out more about trauma hypnosis and how to get over trauma with TRTP click here.