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Recovering After Trauma

Build yourself back up after experiencing a severe trauma in your life.

Just a little bit about some of the traumas I have personally experienced in my life: I was sexually abused for seven years by two male family members. A few years after that, I found myself in a physically, sexually, and emotionally abusive relationship for two and a half years. Then after that, I found myself in another abusive relationship for about seven months. I ended up getting pregnant and not knowing; we were broken up and he found me at a friend's house leaving to beat me up outside. I ended up having a miscarriage. I was eight weeks along. I have also experienced severe physical trauma. I was hit by a semi-truck and thrown off the freeway. That really messed with my emotions. I struggle everyday with PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Not to mention how much all of this trauma has effected my self-confidence.

Trauma can cause you to undermine who you believe you are. You can start to question all your relationships, your values, and your worth. Sometimes traumas can leave you feeling isolated and alone, or invalidated and struggling to find a part of yourself that you feel like you lost. If your trauma happened to you at an early stage in your life, you can find yourself always feeling like there’s a piece of you missing. You may also live with a sense of unworthiness, low self-esteem, or a constant wondering of who you are and who you can truly trust. You may even question your abilities to do things. Something that is completely terrifying about trauma is that it can leave you feeling completely out of control. Looking back on your trauma can cause anxiety about a level of insecurity you may feel. You can feel very vulnerable, suspicious, angry, and withdrawn because you don’t know if you can take care of yourself and those you care for. Trauma can cause you to question your own personal judgment. It can be causing a far-reaching ripple effect in your self-confidence that you may not even know about, and you might need to make an intentional choice to restore and encourage a healthy self-esteem.

There are many ways to help you regain confidence after a trauma. Seeking help from a counselor or therapist can be extremely helpful for working through parts of your trauma that really take a hit to your confidence. Working in a support group can be helpful—if you all have the same goal. But you must be comfortable sharing your trauma with a group of people, and be open to what they have to share. Taking responsibility for your recovery is huge. Making the decision in your mind to get better and recover from your trauma is the biggest first step you can make. You can’t expect help from others if you don’t make the decision to help yourself first. Make choices that are just for you. Try new things. Give your mind the chance to create new connections beyond those built by the trauma. Your confidence may be so built upon the trauma that you might need to try one or two new things a week to rebuild yourself and find out what you can really do.

Be your own advocate. Learn what you want and deserve—and find it. Set your own limits and boundaries. Work towards finding ways to meet your needs. Your confidence will grow the more you choose your own interests above others.

Above all, be careful with yourself. You’re recovering. It’s okay to hurt and feel lost. But do not give up on yourself.

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Recovering After Trauma
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