There is a Chinese proverb that says:
"Don't expect from others what you can't promise them yourself."
If we were to be honest, how many of us stay consistently happy, grateful, content, peaceful - all the time.
I would be the first to keep my hand down. My emotions are all over the place - some days I am SO happy, everything/everyone is great. Then, all of a sudden, without warning, in roll the storm clouds and I switch to angry, sad, depressed...
Can you relate to this?
Even more so for a trauma survivor.
Below is some brain science research explaining the effects of trauma on the brain:
According to a 2006 study by NIH, trauma mainly affects three important parts of your brain: the amygdala, which is your emotional and instinctual center; the hippocampus, which controls memory; and the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for regulating your emotions and impulses. All three parts work together to manage stress. When you’re reminded of a traumatic experience, your amygdala (emotional and survival center) goes into overdrive, acting just as it would if you were experiencing that trauma for the first time. Your prefrontal cortex also becomes suppressed, so you’re less capable of controlling your fear--you’re stuck in a purely reactive state. Meanwhile, trauma also leads to reduced activity in the hippocampus, one of whose functions is to distinguish between past and present. In other words, your brain can’t tell the difference between the actual traumatic event and the memory of it. It perceives things that trigger memories of traumatic events as threats themselves. Trauma can cause your brain to remain in a state of hyper-vigilance, suppressing your memory and impulse control and trapping you in a constant state of strong emotional reactivity.
Remember the Chinese proverb? If MY emotions are a roller-coaster, why in the world would I expect a trauma survivor to be rational, even-emotioned, non-fearful, and able to move forward? Their nervous system has been hijacked due to trauma.
Healing from trauma is not a straight line.
Helping someone (including ourselves) out of trauma takes each of us to educate ourselves and show empathy. Let's help each other go through the roller coasters of emotions so that we can return to "baselines" with ease.
Healing from trauma is NOT smooth and easy.
Healing from trauma can be a roller coaster. It takes time, resources, empathy, compassion, and a lot of understanding.
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