In the last blog post, I ventured on broadening your awareness on the meaning of Complex Trauma. This time, I would like to equip you with tool to assist you in dealing with it.
Because if you, or someone you know, has experienced complex trauma, there ARE things you can do to help.
One of the first steps I would recommend, is cherishing relationships that matters. As you may remember, complex trauma is the result of interpersonal relationships. Therefore, it is essential to surround yourself with people who are patient and open minded; these are individuals who will be able to be present for you, as well as, give you space when you need it.
Acceptance will be your strength.
You need to understand that some situations/individuals/scent etc. may set off a panic reaction in your body. You may not even know what is triggering you, but the sooner you accept that this might happen and recognize the physical sensations in your body, the sooner you will be capable to use coping strategies to distract yourself from those painful emotions and memories.
Continuing with emotions, it is important to recognize that you may be subject to overwhelming emotions. Your senses are on alert more often than an emotionally balanced individual. It certainly helps keeping alert in, what you may assess, a dangerous situation, but you also have to concede it, and nurture yourself whenever you can. You may be also feel drained of energy after challenging emotional overloads. I remember I used to fall asleep out of exhaustion after what I use to call “panic attacks”, when my body was taking over.
Relationships are key.
To come back to the importance of your entourage, or if you are not affected but close to someone who is, remember that you are in control of your environment. Find resource in people who will empower you. If giving trust is difficult (I hear you!), then do not trust through words but through actions. It is essential to be heard and to be seen, for your presence to be validated. And remember, some people are best loved from afar.
Where is Yoga in that?
If you are at a stage where you can practice some self-care and are interested in yoga, I encourage you to look for a trauma aware yoga instructor who will encourage you to go at your own rhythm. We are trained to use verbal guidance instead of physical assists so you stay in control of your body. You’ll learn to share your experience with the physical sensations in the body through suggestion on where to sense a change (very different than what to sense!). When working one on one with the instructor, you are not being imposed the sequence of poses but encouraged you to make choices.