over coming trauma
By Hannah Robyn

Today I was speaking to a friend about ‘things that happened’ when I was younger and how it is hard because I can’t seem to ‘get over it’, despite many years and plenty of therapy.  Overcoming past trauma isn’t easy.

In talking about things I came to the conclusion that I don’t tell people what happened, because 1, I blame myself for the things that happened and 2, I don’t want people’s view of me to be changed.  When telling people, I have the potential to be viewed in a certain way.  A way which would leave me feeling like a victim.

I refuse to be defined by past trauma

Some would argue that by virtue of what happened I am a victim, but because I blame myself for events that happened, I don’t view myself that way.  Also, I refuse to be defined by what happened.

However, it is hard to say whether or not I am defined by the horrible events, due to the mental health problems I have experienced and am still experiencing.  Is my eating disorder perpetuated by a conscious choice to remain a certain way, in order to be invisible, safe, unattractive?

Do my self harm behaviours remain due to a need to punish myself for my emotions and for not being good enough?

Is my impulsivity purely a form of escapism from the memories?

Does drinking block out the intrusive thoughts or purely perpetuate them?

How do you recover from trauma?

How do you recover from past trauma?  Can you integrate the traumatic events into your story?  How do you reconcile the past?  Do I have mental ill health due to trauma, or did I suffer partly because of my vulnerability, due to already having mental health problems?  Was I targeted because they knew I was ‘easy prey’?

These are all the questions I am grappling with.

One thing I really want to stress is this.

If you have ever suffered from any trauma, please don’t stay silent.  The more you open up, the more you realise you are not alone.  That your feelings are valid.  That what happened was NOT your FAULT.  Break the silence.

Reproduced with permission, originally posted here

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