Feeling out of control
You’re walking around every day feeling like there is something deeply wrong with you. You hope people won’t see it. In fact, you work really hard to make sure it’s hidden, to stay in control all the time.
But your attempts to hide these disturbing parts of yourself are not working like it used to. You get set off. You can’t keep your feelings in.
Just the other day you were pulled over for speeding and the experience deeply shook you. Nothing important happened – you were speeding after all. The cop was even nice.
But the whole time you were barely breathing, obsessed with ideas he might pull out his gun, yell at you, or violently pull you from the car. Driving away, shaking uncontrollably, you had to stop and throw up on the side of the road.
What is going on with me?
Now you can’t sleep, it feels impossible to focus at work, and you’re constantly irritable. Troubling memories of your childhood keep popping into your head.
Your father was a mean drunk and frequently beat up your mom just because he had a bad day. You did your best to steer clear of the abuse, but sometimes were caught in the crossfire. Now, flashbacks of those disturbing events are occurring almost like you’re right back there again.
I thought I was done with this. Why is this happening NOW?
The past you worked so hard to leave behind you is perhaps not REALLY in the past. It’s right here with you every day and can disrupt your life at any moment. The sense of control you long for is evaporating because your body and mind are doing things you can’t stand. You don’t feel in charge of your own self.
This is awful! I’ve got to make it stop!
We agree. And we’re here to help. We support you in the steps you’re taking to face your traumatic history. It’s brave to take this step as even “small” traumatic experiences can affect people in significant ways. There are good reasons why you are struggling to effectively “get over” your past. It’s time to end your suffering and make meaningful changes.
Our brains are not well-designed to handle trauma
We like to feel we are relatively in control of our daily lives. However, that sense of control is stripped away when we are traumatized through abuse, near-death experiences, witnessing violence, or loss.
The natural response to these experiences is to regain control. Sometimes this works, but often that new effort to control is only a coverup for your new disturbing inner knowledge that at a moment’s notice something terrible could happen.
Having first-hand experience of trauma leads you to feel unstable because you KNOW the world isn’t safe. Even if the life you currently live no longer resembles your trauma experience in any way, there’s always a part of you that worries.
Our brains are very good at protecting us from being hurt. Whatever you experienced, your body and brain will do literally anything to not go through that again.
When a trauma is imprinted on you, anything that vaguely resembles that experience is responded to with fear or vigilance. Over time, you may be in a CONSTANT state of fear, which leads you to build a type of “emotional armor” just to survive your everyday life.
It is exhausting… and can become very depressing as well.
PTSD and trauma counseling help you live a normal life
Research shows that experiencing psychological injuries (such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or exposure to violence or mistreatment) is the PRIMARY cause of mental health problems.
Not genetics. Not “chemical imbalance.” Difficult experiences from your past or ongoing difficult experiences in your present.
We help you recover from trauma because we KNOW there is nothing inherently wrong with you. Yes, you’ve been through hard experiences.
It doesn’t mean you’re weird or bad.
We’re okay with you. You don’t have to hold onto it anymore. And you don’t have to be alone.
A metaphor for thinking about what happened to you is that a part of you was “frozen” in the time when the trauma occurred. Obviously, you didn’t stop living, but some part of you stopped developing. Now that frozen part is stuck and doesn’t know how to grow.
The rest of you is trying to protect that frozen place from being shattered, but that usually just makes the rest of you less likely to grow as well. This keeps your whole self small and scared. In counseling, we teach you how to slowly thaw that tender place, so your whole being can grow strong and confident.
Building a life of acceptance
Trauma counseling is a place to learn how to live a life not based in fear and control, but instead in acceptance. Your therapist will guide you in figuring out what you like and what you don’t like to discover who you really are. Because when you’re under the shadow of trauma, it’s sometimes hard to know….
Even if you’ve been living with negative symptoms for a long time, it is possible to make significant changes. It’s time to move out of the darkness of your past and take TRUE control of your life.
To feel like you manage your emotions rather than being managed. To live a life of peace and freedom. Schedule your PTSD counseling appointment today to get started.