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Impacts of Trauma

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

By Lucy Chan McFayden

Emotional Trauma Coach

Certified Meditation Instructor

Girl spending quality time on a beach to overcome trauma

Emotional Trauma, Physical Trauma and Mental Traumas are Universal.

It does not choose who gets it, who does not and it happens all around us. It is an experience that haunts many, including us.

Utter the word ‘Trauma’ and others start to get uncomfortable talking about it. Because it is such a sensitive topic and in some cultures, a taboo – many of us learned to shut our mouths, swallow our words, lock our emotions into our hearts and throw away the key.

One in Three women worldwide have experienced sexual assault or violence. One in Four of us worldwide have been beaten by our parents violently. One in Four of Americans grew up with an alcoholic relative or parental figure. Half of us worldwide have experienced neglect and emotional abuse.

These statistics show how often silent and acute trauma lives amongst us, hiding in plain sight.

For us survivors of trauma, it is less of the statistics and more ‘How do I free myself from the clutches of the past?’ or ‘How can I live freely without the haunting memories of trauma dogging me?’.

Understanding Impacts of Trauma

We may have experienced acute trauma from sexual violence and rape, or silent trauma from parental neglect in our childhood. No matter when and how the traumatic event is experienced, it changes the way we think, feel and act around people. There are many effects of such events.

1. Not feeling safe

We live as though a ticking time bomb is about to explode at any time. We are hypervigilant and may spot for escape routes in public spaces. Because it doesn’t feel safe to exist in the world, our fight and flight instincts are constantly active. We constantly feel ‘on edge’ and that something will go wrong.

Another way this manifests is constantly feeling insecure in a relationship. We may fear abandonment or react strongly to any stimuli from our partner.

2. Not feeling good enough

We may feel as though we are flawed, or damaged goods. ‘Who can love such an abused and damaged creature like me?’ are statements that may have gone through your mind. We constantly look for approval from the people we work with, to our family members for more reassurance. This manifests as a perfectionist, focusing on the small details that may not matter in the long term. Constantly beating ourselves up, we strive for perfection in our looks, our work, our body and our relationship.

3. Inability to regulate risks

Living with trauma may affect the way we take risks. We either live frantically avoiding risk, calculating each step with no room for failure. Or we live looking for risks, throwing ourselves into potentially risky situations where we can have no self-restraint. We may seek more experiences that traumatised us to begin with.

Our mind and hearts have been permanently changed from the traumatic experience(s). These influences doesn’t go away on its own, and carries to all areas of our lives.

There are so many more symptoms of living with emotional and physical abuse. In the workshop ‘Healing Trauma and Abuse’ we explore how we can understand and safely heal each of our individual experiences and live free beyond the clutches of our memories.

4. Learning to Love Again

As a survivor of rape, group molestation and physical abuse myself, it was extremely difficult to let anyone love me. Even though my mind forgot, my body did not. It held on to these memories and my mind suppressed them so I could live day to day.

I also felt in the past that I was broken and did not deserve to be loved unconditionally. My heart was closed to not only the world, but my own self so I did not understand the meaning of Love.

Through years of reflection, practice and meditations I learned to feel these strong emotions and regain a positive sense of self. It took time, effort and dedication to heal my heart wounds and body wounds.

Today, I believe that living FULLY without fear and with an open heart is not only possible, it is guaranteed for us who take the efforts to heal our wounds. Facing our wounds safely through courage and faith; will lead us to a path of healing and wholeness.

In the workshop ‘Healing Trauma and Abuse’ on 12 June, learn to trust yourself, open your heart to heal yourself and rebuild the connection to your body, mind and soul in a safe gentle way.

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