A Message For Trauma Survivors

Those who survive trauma suffer a great deal beyond the traumatic events they endured.  They also struggle with anxiety, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & more.  Experiencing trauma changes how your brain works & how you think.  Because of this, today I want to remind those of you who survived trauma of some important things.

You are strong.  I know, you don’t feel that way but you are.  Even if you have some serious struggles with your mental health, you’re strong.  You survived what easily could have killed another person.  Yes, you have some damage from that but you still survived.  That is proof that you are strong!

You are valuable.  Abusers do love to convince their victims that they are useless wastes of space don’t they?  The fact is though that they only say this because it keeps their victims down & easier to control, not because they believe it.  In fact, if they work hard to convince you that you have no value, it only goes to show that they know you are valuable.  If they believed you truly to be worthless, why would they work so hard to convince you that you are worthless?

You are not to blame for the abuse.  I don’t care what your abuser said, you are not to blame for anything they did.  You never made that person hurt you.  Nothing anyone says or does can force another person to abuse them.  Get mad, sure.  Maybe even hit someone in extreme cases.  But, ongoing abuse is the result of the decision to abuse someone over & over again.  That decision is the sole responsibility of abusers.

You didn’t deserve the abuse.  Again, I don’t care what your abuser said.  Nothing you did means you deserved whatever your abuser did to you.  They chose to abuse because of something very fundamentally wrong with them, not because of anything you did.

If your abuser was someone you fell in love with, that isn’t a reason for you to feel stupid or be ashamed of yourself.  Abusers aren’t horrible all of the time.  If they were, they’d be easy to spot & avoid.  Abusers often portray themselves as just what their victim wants in a mate, which is why good people fall in love with them every day.

You are allowed to talk about what he or she did to you.  Abusers love their victims to stay quiet & will not hesitate to use anything in their power to make that happen.  They don’t want anyone to know what they have done or are doing because that might mean someone would think badly of them, give them consequences for their behavior or even stop them from abusing their victims.  The truth though is that this isn’t just their story.  It’s yours too, which means you have every right to discuss it as much or as little as you want.  If they want you to talk about them in a good way, they shouldn’t have abused you!  Don’t forget too that discussing it isn’t trying to ruin their reputation.  It’s simply telling what happened to you.

Your wants & needs are valid.  Your desire to be treated with basic common decency is valid.  Normal, even.  Your wants & needs don’t mean you’re “high maintenance”, needy or impossible to please.

Your emotions are also valid.  Just because your abuser said you are over sensitive, overreacting or can’t take a joke doesn’t mean these things are true.  Your anger & hurt over their behavior are valid, & perfectly normal under the circumstances.

It’s perfectly ok to take days off.  So many abusers convince their victims that they’re lazy, & that often sticks around long after the abuse is over.  I struggle with this myself, so I want to tell you what I tell myself.  There is nothing wrong with taking days off.  It doesn’t mean you’re lazy.  It means you’re human & need some rest.  Healing from abuse & living with the mental & emotional struggles are a lot of work!  Rest is essential anyway but especially when you’re trying to heal.

I hope this post helps you to remember these important points.  I wish you the best!

9 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

9 responses to “A Message For Trauma Survivors

  1. Pingback: A Message For Trauma Survivors – The Souls' Poet

  2. I needed to read this today. Yesterday, I told a woman whom I have recently met through an online writer’s group, about the difficulty I have with the Christmas holidays. ‘When I was 12 years old, my mother tried to gas us all to death during the holidays,’ I told her. This woman’s response was: ‘That was then, this is now.’

    It would be really great if this were true. But unfortunately, when trauma is so severe that it changes who you are, physically, mentally, and spiritually, ‘now’ is still very much entwined with ‘then’. I have gone to great lengths and financial expense to heal my PTSD, and I have healed so much, in many ways. But I still have a hard time with Christmas. My holiday flashbacks aren’t near!y as bad as they used to be, but still — I will be glad when January gets here.

    Being told ‘That was then, this is now,’ after sharing one of my worst traumas, felt like a hard slap in the face. She probably meant well, but it still hurt. Reading this post today feels like a healing balm for my fresh wound. Thank you so much, dear Cynthia! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • “That was then, this is now”?!?! What the…?!!? Sure, your own mom tried to kill you, but so what?! It’s been a few years so just get over it already. ARGH!!! Not my most Christian thought here but I’d love to smack her silly right now.. Could that be any more invalidating & shaming?!?!

      You are absolutely correct. Trauma like that may be in the “then” in some ways, but it’s still in the “now” too because of those changes. I wouldn’t be surprised if your Christmas trauma is one of those things you can’t heal from in this lifetime. It was incredibly traumatic! If it’s any consolation, I have some of those too. This past week I had a couple of flashbacks, one being to the night of my first & most severe nervous breakdown. I’ve dealt with that incident to death, but the flashback still shook me up badly & I’m still a bit shaken from it. & that incident wasn’t as severe as yours!

      Comments like that absolutely feel like a hard slap across the face, & I’m so sorry you were subjected to that cruelty. (((hugs))) It’s a horrible feeling. One of my aunts once told me “I say this with all the love in the world, but you need to get over your childhood hurts.” Another told me “You need to get into therapy & figure out how to get along with your parents & don’t you dare tell me it won’t work!” Slaps like that are intensely cruel & painful

      I’m so glad this post helped you Linda! ❤ Funny.. I usually write posts then schedule them months in advance. Sometimes I move some around but not that often. I wrote this one the other day & it felt urgent to share it today. God was thinking of you & wanted you to know these things, I believe ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • ibikenyc

      {{{{{HUGS}}}}} ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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