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Natural responses to Trauma

There are so many ways that every one of us respond to Trauma(s) that we experience throughout our lifetime. There’s no comparing our responses to Trauma because we all respond differently, even as siblings, twins, or anyone that has grown up in the similar/same environment. Part of this is due to our individual temperaments, part of this is due to our genes, part of this is due to the different ways we cope, and separate environmental stressors since we can never share the exact same experience. 

I drafted this list to normalize these issues because survivors are pathologized and are made to feel abnormal and alone with the language used to describe them. It’s important that we shift our language and the way that we speak of these tools that survivors used to keep themselves safe. 

These are tools to help survivors navigate their life to safety in adulthood. Without these, many of us wouldn’t be here. To safely endure trauma, we are placed into situations where we must self sacrifice to avoid negative consequences. It’s an awful manipulation that is imprinted within us long term. As adults, despite being safe, we are probably also afraid of the world deemed unsafe from our past experiences- so we use said coping skills to survive. We’re stuck in survival, despite the deep yearning to thrive (consciously or unconsciously). 

Societally, we also feel the pressure. The pressure of capitalism, racism, systemic violence and aggression, survivor-blaming, mockery, all of it. These macro aggressions also serve to shrink and silence survivors. The world tells us we’re weak to have been victimized. The world does not like victims and would prefer survivors embrace toxic positivity and a distorted view of strength- which means   “Just get over it” and that’s that. 

Know that these experiences are all very natural responses to painful experiences. They may be holding you back now, so it’s worth working through…but you have dealt with things the only way you knew how and the fact that it got you here means that it worked back then. Now it’s time to learn a new way to live, unstuck and thriving.

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