I saw a flyer in our building for a workshop being offered on healing from childhood abuse and neglect and came home with her book, Healing from Trauma: A Survivor's Guide to Understanding Your Symptoms and Reclaiming Your life. I have since read it twice and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for some guidance in the aftermath of trauma.
Here is a sample:
Ten Points to Remember
1. Trauma is magnetic, and you have to work hard not to get swallowed up by it. There are a number of tools you can practice to help with this. The more you practice, the better you'll get at it.
2. Discover what anchors you to the here and now. Because this may be different at different times, you'll need to notice what works in any given moment.
3. The more grounded and present you are, the more you can handle and the more you can protect yourself if needed.
4. When you can manage your arousal level, you will feel more in control. So many trauma reactions are about runaway arousal.
5. When one channel of information (thinking, feeling, sensation) gets too disturbing, try changing channels or bringing in many channels simultaneously so that you can diffuse the intensity.
6. Find your rock, your regulating resource. Call upon it when trauma threatens to engulf you.
7. Identify people you can call on for help. Listen to your body in their presence. Caring others are a pharmacy all their own.
8. Having a sense of options is an antidote to the feeling of being trapped and powerless that are central to trauma. Just seeing that you have options will help you feel much better.
9. Soothing and support are important antidotes for activation.
10. It takes time for the body to recover after it has been flooded with stress hormones. Sometimes all you can do is create a safe space to wait it out.
Notice any patterns? Learning how to calm down and reach out for help is a central part of the healing process. It takes time but it can change your life.
This is tough stuff. If you choose to explore the subject with this or another source, know that you can pace yourself and listen to your body, taking a break if you get overwhelmed. It's especially important to be kind to yourself when you're down. Consider it a prescription for your health and wellbeing.