New Trauma Brings Up Old Trauma
We are experiencing a Collective Trauma.
Ok, so now what?
So, know this: Any new trauma has the potential to trigger any previously experienced trauma. And whether you identified it as such, or not, chances are you have had previous trauma. (It’s a relative thing)
The more that previous trauma has been dealt with and integrated into your psyche in a healthy way, the less triggered you may be. But, either way, you will likely still be triggered. In these moments, I invite you to find healthy forms of expression: walk, run, dance, sing, write, talk, scream, cry, call your friend, telehealth with a therapist, read a supportive thing, garden, cook, bake, create something, do something nice for someone, do something nice for yourself.
In other words, USE the energy to TRANSFORM the energy.
Most of us stuff our pain down, just to survive, so it is actually hard to access it and store it properly in our brain and body…so our pain comes out sideways through physical, psychological or relational challenges—in the present moment and/or down the line.
But, now, when our pain has been opened up through this collective experience, we have the OPPORTUNITY to process both the new and old pain, so that it can find its rightful place in our brain and body.
Pain simply seeks expression. Our ability to move pain through is what will lead us to greater resilience and wellness.
It’s RARE to have the coping skills to address stress and trauma, IN the moment. When we do not feel safe (physically, emotionally or both), we are most likely going to hang out in our survival strategies (fight, flight, freeze, etc.) Most of us are not going to be all, “hey, let’s really lean into feeling this really scary thing, right now, when we already don’t feel safe.”
So, IF you have access to the scary feelings and you feel safe enough to consciously process them, do so.
If you do not feel safe to consciously process feelings (which in itself is usually not conscious, so often takes the form of anxiety, overwhelm or paralysis), I still recommend processing any difficult feelings that naturally come up through one of the aforementioned activities.