I was having a talk with friend about how the perception of trauma has changed. She was thinking of her grandfather, who even now sits in a cloud of his own thoughts and does not engage much with his eight children and nearly twenty grandchildren. The explanation she was given was always the same, “You know he never quite got over the war.”
Today the idea of shell shock is outdated, and we know that a traumatic experience of any kind can have real power. The trouble is, it can’t be seen like a wound or a scar. So how do you know if you should seek help for it?
There are several risk factors for trauma that often go overlooked. For example, if the trauma occurred in childhood it not only leaves a deeper trace, it also increases the risk of being susceptible to traumatic stress as an adult. Some violent natural occurrences like earthquakes, floods, or tornadoes can cause traumatic stress. A bad breakup or even what might seem like a normal physical injury might bring out these overwhelming and unpredictable emotions that leave you feeling stuck and drained.
Who’s at risk? Again, children, or those who had a traumatic experience as a child are particularly at risk. Also at risk are those who are already under a great deal of stress, or whose stressful experience is a repeated one.
What will I feel like? Many who have suffered from PTSD and similar stress issues speak of feeling empty, numb, or unable to cope with the normal ups and downs of life. You may also seem to be re-living the traumatic event day after day. Insomnia is also a common side effect.
The most important thing is not to ignore how you feel. You should also communicate, whether that’s to a diary, a pet, a family member or a friend. Step by step develop a routine of healthy behaviors, mindful of what makes you feel upset and uncomfortable and what makes you feel relaxed and safe.
If everything in life was easy I guess there would be no sense of excitement, thrill, achievement or satisfaction that often comes with the result of effort. From running that 5K to the marathon, from achieving our smallest goals to passing exams or giving birth.
Somethings we choose to do and others we just find that life has just thrown our way, such as dealing with relationship breakdown, financial problems, accidents or abuse. At times nothing seems to make much sense and we need to question why we seem to be being tested when we have to to overcome unforseen obstacles,
Whatever hoops we have to jump through to get where we need to be we often don’t notice the impact it all has on our emotions and physical state. Stress kicks in and that knot in the abdomen starts to make itself known. Sleep deprivation, headaches, flaring temper as we are put under pressure are just some of the things that happen to us that are not always obvious until someone else points it out.
The more traumatic the event the more our emotional and physical body pays the price. Illness can develop and so it goes on. Such cliches as ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’ or ‘nothing comes easy’, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ or ‘all sent to try us’ are OK but unless we keep the symptoms of stress in check then the outcomes can be quite undesirable. Worse still with trauma or PTSD. There are ways to release and lots of support and help available for those that need it from breathing, meditation, a raft of alternative, complimentary and conventional therapies to tension release and trauma prevention exercise.
Although some things in life are never easy whatever we go through good, bad or indifferent whether we have chosen it or not, it may not always feel like it but we can pull through. But unless we help ourselves or allow ourselves to be supported in the process when necessary, life will never be the same. Somethings are ever easy but there is always a way forward so that the price paid is not too high.
It never fails to make me smile the way events just seem to come together without explanation. You think of someone and they phone or mail you. I thought of someone recently, a paramedic whose name I had written on a list to speak with about TRE. I had not seen this person for over a year. That very day I walked into the supermarket and not only was this person standing at the customer service desk at the front of the store but was facing the door at the precise time I walked in! How does that happen.
I was in Germany recently doing further training with David Berceli. On the train back to the airport I hesitated before taking a seat as many were reserved, but I sat down anyway. A gentleman sat down next to me and was not worried I was in his window seat. We had a great chat about the German culture and life in Dubai where he lived. I was interested as until recently my brother had lived there for some years. He then recommended me a book to read. When I alighted the train to take a look around the city there was a stand not 100 yards from the station and guess what they were selling the book! Yes, I did smile to myself.
Energy is making these connections and I have a lifetime of examples I could recall and share. As a Yoga teacher and TRE practitioner I am always working on not just my energy but to assist in the unblocking of discharged energy in others. If energy flows I believe we become open and if we are open we can be positive about what we want. If we are positive about what we want and think about it – we should not be surprised when it appears.
It is over a year since I was in South Africa for training in TRE at Erinvale in Somerset West. There were about 100 people there, trainers and trainees from all over the world: Canada, Australia, Japan, USA and many from South Africa. I felt blessed to be there and proud that I was representing the UK.
I felt blessed that David Berceli was running the training. David is a wonderful man, who is passionate about TRE and that in itself was enough for me to take on that passion from the first day of training. I met some wonderful people and felt blessed that they shared their stories with me on how TRE has changed their life’s. I feel blessed that I have come through life without having come close to the levels of trauma that some of those I had spoken with had experienced.
I feel blessed that I am able to share TRE and help relieve others of their own life traumas, however big or small.