Ready to Heal Family Trauma? Here’s Where to Start
Family is a very strong word and is almost always associated with positive connotations—togetherness, support, love, and happiness, to name a few. That doesn’t, however, mean there are not negatively charged feelings and emotions related to family. We live in a society where it is often taboo, but it is important to change that narrative when the time is right!
Acknowledge the Traumatic Experience
Trauma can come from a number of different scenarios, including, but not limited to:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Accident or injury
- Death of a loved one
- Witnessing a traumatic event
Being able to identify the trauma, the people involved, and what it is impacting in your life is the first step. Not everyone will take this step at the same time; some may never want to take this step forward. It is important to move at your own pace, on your own terms. Being open and willing to start this journey can be a positive experience in the grand scheme.
Process All Emotions…Both Good and Bad
Once you have taken that first step, the next thing to do is put a name to your feelings. As humans, we so often focus on the “happy” emotions and the good things to happen in a day. It is also helpful to feel the negatives ones. Sit with any feeling you are feeling, regardless of good or bad. It can be more harmful to push those down than it is to feel them and let them out.
When we understand them, put a name to them, and process them, we can move through it to start healing from them. What you and/or your family have experienced may be painful, and it is not to say some days will not be hard. It is learning to let go, maybe not forgetting entirely, but releasing the hold some of these emotions have over you.
Recognize the Situation and Use Your Support System
Some days may be hard moving through this journey. It may also be a long process to move through, depending on the reality of the situation. Give yourself grace and trust that it will become easier. The important thing to always remember is that you took the hardest step by beginning.
You do not have to do any of this alone. Lean on your trusted family and friends. They are in your life for a reason. It can be difficult to be vulnerable, but those are the moments that make those relationships stronger.
This process may feel overwhelming, but keep the faith in the process. Focus on each little step forward you take, each little win, and keep moving. Remember, everything you are feeling is normal.
Find a balance with things that make you feel relaxed and out of your head when you feel on high alert. Create routines to bring a sense of normalcy for when the process may feel daunting. Even when it is hard, don’t give up!
Try not to isolate yourself, either. Continue to participate in normal activities and maintain connections socially. Take days off from dealing with the trauma. Engage in activity, even when you don’t necessarily feel like it. You won’t regret that move.
Some situations, feelings, and emotions may require more support than family and friends can realistically can provide. Everyone feels things differently and you may need a different degree of support.
If you are really struggling with the process, there is no shame in turning to a professional. Therapists or professional counselors are trained to provide support for exactly these types of topics. Reach out to us today and let us help you through your journey with trauma therapy.