Trauma isn’t only about what happened to you, it’s very much about how it is stored in your body, mind and spirit and how you carry it forward in life. Any time your energy is disrupted and you’re unable to sort it back out on your own…. That’s trauma.
Healing trauma is deep and extensive work that takes gumption and courage and most of us require support from our friends and family that’s gentle, compassionate, and empathetic.
Have you ever spilled your guts to another human about your trauma? About how it’s affecting you, how you’re dealing with it, and about how things are really going? Reaching out for support and understanding can be a truly difficult undertaking for a variety of reasons, one being that you have very little control over how the other person receives you, speaks to you, reacts to you, etc.
Have you ever spilled your guts to another human about your trauma? About how it’s affecting you, how you’re dealing with it, and about how things are really going?
Ideally, we’d like to be met with active listening and compassion so we feel supported and cared for but, let’s be honest – this is hard stuff and not everyone knows what to say or how to react.
If things go south, you can easily end up feeling devalued and misunderstood, maybe even shamed for the things you’ve been struggling with.
That’s a very lonely and sad place to be.
I can still remember calling my mother to tell her that my husband was having an affair and that my marriage was over… my chest was tight and my breathing was labored; I was really nervous and in a totally vulnerable state.
Without asking how she could help, without sharing concern for me, without acknowledging my feelings, my mother, cold and detached, told me, “you need to make it work.”
I literally collapsed onto the floor, a sobbing heap of misery, and there I experienced my very first panic attack.
Her words took the ground out from under me. I literally collapsed onto the floor, a sobbing heap of misery, and there I experienced my very first panic attack. Losing control of my mental faculties like that was terrifying, but even in those moments, a lucid thought tumbled around in my head; how could a person be so $*&@!^$ careless?
In the totally discombobulated days that followed this awful life experience (aka trauma), as I began sharing my story with my closest friends, I got some clarity around the ways that people in my life cared for me. A select few stepped in to help without hesitation, there were others who asked what I needed and how I could be cared for, and then there were the ones that I wish I hadn’t even bothered to tell…
These were the people like my mother – the ones who reacted poorly and seemed to be trying to shame me, put blame on me, or make me see where I was at fault… These interactions all felt like another betrayal because they were void of empathy and compassion.
These interactions all felt like another betrayal because they were void of empathy and compassion.
I felt totally alone and could see no way out of my suffering… I couldn’t even ask for help because I literally had no idea what I needed to get out of the pain.
Having your emotions denied is not only painful, it is harmful.
What if there was a way to better manage your need for support? Born from my own struggle, I realized that YES, I absolutely had an element of control in getting my needs met. This is when I I created my pre-qualifying process, and this is a tool I’ve been teaching my clients with pretty great results.
In the “healing and dealing” process, we require a soft and compassionate place to land and so we become selective about who we enlist for support and we do it in a very specific way. By prequalifying our loved one’s emotional natures before sharing our hurt and pain, we have a much better chance of feeling more supported, cared for and received, and less isolated and alone.
“Despite how open, peaceful and loving you attempt to be, people can only meet you as deeply as they’ve met themselves.”-MATT KAHN
I learned the hard way that “people can only meet you as far as they’ve met themselves”.
It’s an integral lesson that every victim of trauma must learn as we begin to share our pain because enlisting a strong support system will expedite healing, bolster the process, and help keep us afloat.
It took many years of seeking support from the wrong people until I would figure out what this really meant, and (it’s a huge bonus) be able to spot “the wrongies” from a mile away.
To make it easier for you, I’ve created a worksheet that helps people experiencing emotional difficulty create a supportive network by avoiding the wrongies and choosing the righties.
Just follow this link: Pre-Qualifing A Loved One to grab the download!