What is wrong with me?”
“Why am I so hard to love?”
I have asked myself these questions repeatedly for as long as I can remember. Many times I would answer them with something I didn’t do "just right." And other times, they sat... unanswered. You see, I had my fair share of traumatic experiences. Trauma can affect a person so much they become unrecognizable to others. What affects one, though, may not always affect another in the same way. Making it difficult at times to come up with a "cookie cutter" type list of signs for someone struggling with healing from past trauma. Each individual experiences a situation in their own way, but when it is traumatic, there are long-lasting effects.
You Don’t Have to be a Label.
I allowed trauma to affect me for too long before I decided it was enough. It prevented me from taking a chance on relationships, career opportunities and simply… being happy. I spent a large portion of my life allowing the past to affect my present. Until one day I decided to take action. I found and utilized all the resources I could. I read and listened to different perspectives in books. I participated in groups, and so much more to learn as much as I could about trauma, mental health and how to overcome all I had experienced. I wanted to live the best life I could despite the past. I didn’t want to continue questioning my worth. I learned a lot in my self-growth process, but what stood out most was this whole time I had viewed myself as a victim, although this is true for the circumstances at the time of my traumas, it did not have to be my truth for the rest of my life. I did not have to wear the label of “victim” forever.
I learned that every day I had allowed myself to live in a state of self-blame. I had prevented my own self from feeling love. I prevented my OWN self from moving forward, simply because I thought I was protecting myself from ever being hurt again.
· Avoiding moments/opportunities because I “might” get hurt again · Pushing people away, especially if it was going well, to save myself the pain of them leaving later. · Questioning others (lack of trust) or unfairly judge in hopes of filtering out someone that cold hurt me. · People pleasing, putting others before myself, but then resenting them after a while for never receiving the same. · Always feeling like I had to be perfect and fit in this perfect little box-No room for error.
The hard truth, it doesn’t stop you from ever getting hurt again. It stops you from happiness and living in the present. It prevents you from enjoying the moment you have in front of you.
After trauma occurs, our brains will go into survival mode. A common sign of trauma related effects is we often fall into self-blame. Self blame is a coping mechanism used by those who have gone through trauma. The victims often feel as if they are somehow to blame for what happened. This can cause very strong feelings of shame or guilt, even though it wasn't their fault.
As I discovered more and more about trauma, I learned I was not to blame and that my brain truly thought it was doing the best thing to protect me from the past reoccurring. Ironically though, as many others have found out, when our brains are in survival/protection mode, we cause more harm to ourselves. We experience more pain because we either refuse to open and trust people, resulting in lost relationships or sabotage things when they are going well. Regardless, when our brain is placed in this mode of protection it will continue the cycle of pain and continuous punishment until we disrupt the cycle.
We Interrupt Your Previously Scheduled Program…
The best way to begin deactivating survival mode in the brain, is to first understand. It made it easier to work through knowing what my brain was doing and why. It helped me identify how to go about retraining my brain.
The next step I took was identifying my triggers, thoughts, and behaviors. I made sure to record them and keep an eye on any patterns. I also recorded any consequences that come because of them. The more aware I became the more I understood. The more I understood, the more control I had and the more present I became. I began being present in my own life. No longer did I spend every day asking myself “why me”. Instead, I live every day in the present aware of the fact, I am loved. I didn’t do anything wrong, and the people that truly matter, love you just the way you are. Jane Nady P.S. If you are in this place of self-blame, download the free resource below to stop self-blame & reclaim your power. These will help you overcome your past and begin living in the present.
**Additional Offer** If you are in a place where you want to truly make a big life change, let go of all that has been holding you back and causing you pain, email or call me to schedule a consultation at no cost. As a Master Certified Mindset Coach that has walked the same path, I would be happy to be by your side throughout your entire journey. I will serve as a guide and support to help you identify sabotaging thoughts and behaviors and replace them with healthy ones. In the end you will build and begin living your very best life and finally have a chance to experience true happiness.