Where to start?

Where to start?

Postby sleeplessincali » August 9th, 2017, 10:21 pm

Hi, so in dealing with trauma, where does one begin?
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Re: Where to start?

Postby oak » August 10th, 2017, 2:38 am

Generally, when starting to face any multifaceted debacle, I follow two principles: 80/20 and least resistance.

That is, in many situations 80% of the results come 20% of the effort (80/20), and I usually choose the easiest thing to face (least resistance).
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"We gotta make a decision: leave tonight or live and die this way." -Tracy Chapman
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Re: Where to start?

Postby RSRA » August 10th, 2017, 5:51 pm

WHAT A GOOD QUESTION. I'll answer this from a couple of different angles.

As a mental health clinician: Acknowledge that it happened. Name it. Also, acknowledge that it affected you. So many people with trauma want to minimize - it's a POWERFUL coping skill, and makes dealing with trauma in everyday life tolerable. Minimizing, for so many, is LITERALLY how they get through every day and they're able to function. It also depends on if it's Trauma with a Big T or trauma with a little t - meaning that if you had a significant traumatic event (a Big T), it's going to be easier to acknowledge than a little t, because we all, every single one of us, have so many little t's in our lives that we can't begin to acknowledge every single one.

As a person who has worked significantly on their own trauma (both big and little t's) in multiple ways, including traditional therapy, meds, and now EMDR: acknowledge whether or not you are ready to work on the trauma, and be ok with whatever answer that might be because that's where you are and that's perfectly ok. Then, find a therapist who's a good fit. Then, when you have done that, acknowledge that whatever happened to you, happened. Exactly what it is. And, it's ok that you consider it a trauma, even if other people may not or may try to invalidate your experience based on what they "think" you experienced. There is SO much power in naming it and saying "this is what happened to me." At the same time, learn what coping skills you use, whether they are healthy or not (they work! otherwise you wouldn't still be using them!), and learn some new ones. Then you might be ready to work through it and talk about your trauma candidly.

Also, know that depending on your trauma, you may be in for years of work, and that working through trauma can often take a lifetime, and give yourself the space and compassion that you need in order to do the work that you might need to do.

If this question was for you or one of your loved ones, I'm sending some good mojo your way! :)
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Re: Where to start?

Postby sleeplessincali » November 10th, 2017, 2:22 pm

Thank you so much for your response. I don’t know how I missed it. I’ve never spoken to a general therapist so I think that would probably be the place to start as well.
I have heard so many good things about emdr, the thought of learning how to practice better coping skills is hopeful. Learning to voice what I’m feeling has always been a struggle for myself.
Reading your response made me realize how much I have minimized at the little t’s as well as the big T’s. I am finally feeling up to the fact that it’s okay to take time to work on myself. And now I have some insight on where to begin. Thanks again!
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