6 Ways to Handle Your Trauma
by Meher Parul Nagar
The field of Psychology and Mental Health has boomed massively, especially after the pandemic. With mental health deteriorating over the pandemic, lockdown has left people identifying their trauma triggers, with many people joining forces to help those in need.
As a woman from an Asian Indian background, and Trauma survivor since I was 5 years old, to now Expert, it’s a different story. It’s not easy to live with the traumas that have stemmed from your childhood, parents, generations and multiple cases of abuse through relatives, friends and society. Though mental health awareness has increased greatly, there is still a long way to go.
As a Trauma therapist and expert for years, I witness numerous women who don’t actively try therapy. They live with their traumas forever and often pass them on to their loved ones too. That is why it is important to identify those traumas and learn to break them down. Are you ready?
1. What is Trauma?
In simple words, it’s a response to any incident. For instance, some relationships can be both beautiful and positive, others toxic and traumatising. This isn’t just a regular reaction, it’s a trigger.
We all get excited to be at home during the holidays, but for me, I felt traumatised for years. It was so bad that until the age of 29 years old, I used to constantly think and have vivid nightmares of my parents’ abusive yelling, startling me awake with fear.
I had to identify my trauma before I started working on healing my childhood and parental trauma. In Asian countries, parents are equivalent to God, no one can go against them, and that’s where the trauma trigger starts. There are times that you are aware of your trigger but are blindsided by society’s expectations, forcing you to label it as normal. Women have spent centuries over-accommodating to please others.
2. Acknowledgement and Acceptance is a Game-Changer
There are times when we accept there is a problem that needs to be fixed or resolved, but the fact is we aren’t ready to do it. This happens when we are in shock or constant denial. It took a week for me to accept I was raped, and many years to accept I had a trauma bonded relationship with my parents, sibling and ex-husband.
I took so long to come to terms with all of this. I over compromised in all my relationships, even with friends. Only after my healing began did I realise the toxicity, and that is how I had to not only just break ties with them, but also accept and acknowledge it. Breaking relationships with parents, siblings, friends, and partners isn’t the complete way out. However, it is the first step to accepting and acknowledging that it’s not right.
I see and hear so many clients saying I have accepted and acknowledged it, but the truth is they haven’t, and that’s where consistency becomes a challenge.
3. Grounding Techniques
Social media is filled with a myriad of grounding techniques like meditation, yoga, mindfulness, various forms of exercise, and hobbies. Most of us do one of these regularly. There is no doubt that this helps in basic grounding that helps tackle trauma triggers. But grounding goes one step further, and that involves being honest with yourself.
The more you acknowledge the trauma whilst practising these grounding techniques, the easier it becomes for the brain and the body to process them together. There is no mutual benefit in doing things just physically, and not mentally. Moving on isn’t about forgetting – our subconscious keeps the wound and grows, impacting the mind over time when remained unhealed for years.
Your brain is the main body function of the body – be kind to it and take care of it.
4. It’s Not Necessary to Forgive the Abuser
I truly respect, understand and appreciate those who believe in forgiving others for yourself. It’s indeed beautiful because no one is a perfect being. However, life and trauma pain is different for each one of us.
We can’t all easily forgive and forget. It can be extremely painful to even think like that when it was intentional and repeated for years. You can heal with or without forgiving your abusers, that is your choice – never force yourself or others to forgive.
5. Don’t Burden Yourself
Never compromise your mental or emotional well-being over anything. We live in a society where mental and emotional pain is still not equivalent to physical pain. As I mentioned previously, Asian countries are still learning about mental health and its facilities. Many countries still do not provide enough mental health aid.
When I started my journey, from a Trauma victim to a survivor to an expert, it wasn’t an easy journey – I had to work on myself by myself. Focus and work on yourself without setting high expectations. You don’t have to get overwhelmed and feel disappointed by the lack of progress. All you need to do is try to be yourself in your skin.
“Being comfortable in your skin will help kickstart the healing.”
6. Find the Right Therapist
For a lot of PTSD and trauma cases, medication is important, but it is also vital to find and work through your traumas and thoughts with a therapist. Counselling therapy helps tackle the issue from its roots – scientifically and holistically.
It will be time-consuming and may include trial and error. Pursue a journey of healing, and don’t let yourself fall into a zone of suffering.
Never give your power to your pain, seek help to get your wings back.
Meher Parul, Trauma Survivor turned Trauma Therapist, works with complex trauma issues with women of all backgrounds, helping them on their healing journey. From childhood trauma to generational trauma, Meher provides tailored therapeutic sessions, working through root issues to help women live a fulfilled life.