Sudden. Unexpected. Heavy. Overwhelming. It can take many forms and can be “big” or “little,” but the effects are generally anything but “little.” Things changed in that moment. In your body – perhaps your heart rate spiked, your muscles tightened, your breathing seemed to stop. In your mind – thoughts raced and fear took over. Time seemed to stand still.
It’s hard to find words that adequately describe the weight one must endure following a traumatic experience. For many survivors, it is not just one traumatic event, but a countless number. These people have been hurt, betrayed, beaten, and broken. As much as they want help, they may have little hope, confidence, or ability to trust that things can be different.
Trauma, by its very nature, is unexpected and it will shake you to the core. It’s natural for a trauma survivor to go back and forth between trying to deny the trauma happened and feeling bombarded by it. You may feel stuck, reliving the trauma, feeling numb, and desperately trying to find relief from the pain and terror.
Some people, the fortunate ones, may gradually be able to return to their previous life, a sense of “normal.” But others will find themselves being yanked back into the past. Over and over. You relive the initial terror. Despite your best efforts, you cannot get back to “normal.”