When we have experienced a trauma there might be an impulse to push people away, to feel shame around the trauma. To feel as though “I should be stronger than this”, or “why is this still affecting me? What is wrong with me?” Thoughts and feelings of confusion and anger are normal.
It becomes a problem when we start to isolate ourselves socially. Social isolation and loneliness have been associated with a myriad of health issues; premature death (Holt-Lunstad et al. 2015), general dissatisfaction with life, poor mental health, suicide, insomnia and emotional distress. In short isolating yourself from your support network will make things worse, not better. If you feel yourself doing this REACH OUT. Let someone who cares about you know what is happening and get some help.
In American Indian communities the importance of community is well recognised, as well as the spiritual realm in healing trauma (Asamoa-Tutu, Sierra R. 2013). As a healer and therapist, I am interested in the intersection of healing and therapy. Sometimes the hug of someone who loves you just as you are can be the most healing therapy possible.
This is one of the reasons therapy can be so healing. Being in the presence of someone who accepts you just as you are. Who is there to walk WITH you through the pain, without needing you to dumb it down, to be in a space where you don’t have to worry about the other person’s ability to hold your pain. Most of us have never experienced that before in our lives.
It is my daily honour to walk daily WITH and THROUGH the healing process.
Holt-Lunstad J, Smith T, Baker M, Harris T & Stephenson D 2015. Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality: A Meta-Analytic Review. Perspectives on Psychological Science 10:227–37.
Asamoa-Tutu, Sierra R.. (2013). Walking Two Worlds: Healing from Trauma in the American Indian Community. Retrieved from Sophia, the St. Catherine University repository website: https://sophia.stkate.edu/msw_papers/146