The impact of severe trauma is possible to last a lifetime, and it can come and go.
The symptoms vary in each person. Sometimes trauma symptoms are not as apparent -- they can present though a down mood, or even physical symptoms. A person can often find themselves in a bad mood, or feeling physically sick, without a conscious understanding that there was a trigger or associated experience (time of year, smell, or anything that is associated with the trauma).
People can end up blaming themselves for the way they feel or call themselves 'selfish' and many other negative things, when in reality they are only experiencing the results of trauma. This can become a form of self abuse, or even a means to control the abuse that is coming. Again, the coping with past trauma is not always a conscious process.
What helps? What can a person who has been through trauma do? What can their loved ones do?
When a person who has been through trauma can talk about how they feel it helps. When the person is in a safe environment that doesn't tell them to 'get over it' directly or indirectly with statements like 'Why are you in such a bad mood?' it helps. When your loved ones understand this it helps.
Friends and family can even help an individual see what is happening before this person makes the connection that it is that time of year, or the physical symptoms, are trauma related. Loved ones can be attentive and aware.
Telling someone who has survived trauma (even when that trauma was in infancy) that it is okay to speak and share as they feel like doing; that it is safe to talk any time, or share the negative emotion they are feeling, tends to allow the processing of trauma to go more quickly.
It is when someone holds things in, or tries to fight through the memories, associations, or emotions, that the impact of trauma is prolonged and continues to present itself time and time again through various means: anxiety, mood fluctuations, physical symptoms.
We are sending our love and support to trauma survivors. Reach out when you need to.
Also by Ryan B.
A Father's Regret: http://www.SavingSons.org/2018/01/a-fathers-regret.html
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