What defines a trauma? At the heart of it, it’s an experience in which you feel both at-risk and powerless. It’s a frightening experience that happens to you that you feel unable to impact or change.
During times of trauma, you experience, real or perceived, that something is happening to you, sending unwanted, something terrifying, and you feel helpless to make it change.
Many experiences in the course of receiving a cancer diagnosis, and going through the marathon treatments, may be the source of trauma. Whenever you feel something terrifying is happening to you that you’re powerless to impact, you’re experience trauma—sometimes big and other times small.
It’s important to know about during those times the trauma, when you feel powerless, you’re not able to express your feelings and your needs.
During the trauma, you’ll likely respond with a survival reaction. The most common survival reaction is flight, where you run away from what’s happening to you. Now, that running away can place through an actual physical running away, but, more often than not, the running away happens internally—dissociating or daydreaming to taking you away from what’s happening to you, even as it’s actually happened.
You can heal from trauma. The most effective way to yourself involves a caring relationship in which you can talk about your experience and talk about what happened to you. It’s important you find someone who will really listen to what you say, who you experience as deeply invested in your story.
And it’s important that you relax into that interest, relaxing enough to feel safe enough to express how you feel. The key is to find a caring relationship in which the feelings can come out, and you can tell the story of what happened to you not only in terms of describing the events, but more importantly in terms are describing how the events felt.
Visit Carl or one of the other therapists at Heart-Centered Counseling at their new location in the heart of Old Town. 320 W Olive Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521.