Pain is inevitable in life, and so are the memories that follow regardless of how painful they may be. Sometimes, people prefer not to speak of their trauma, whether it was an accident, the death of a loved one, or a medical emergency. But the more you push your thoughts away, the likelier they are to creep back in again as intruders to corrupt your mind.
Choosing or not to share your traumatic story is a personal choice, to say the least. But here are five ways in which you could discover the healing power of telling your story to someone you confide it:
1. Subsiding the feelings of shame
Victims of traumatic events often feel that others will think less of them if they know what happened. This reinforces the idea that there was something shameful about the event or yourself on a fundamental level.
But in all reality, when you tell people your story and find support instead of criticism, you’ll realize that you have nothing to hide physically or emotionally. Hold your head high!
2. Certain beliefs may be corrected
Beliefs tend to shift considerably following a traumatic event; the way you feel about your friends, family, or otherworldly characters may change drastically.
But keeping your story limited to yourself will only make you critical of yourself. By telling a supportive therapist about your trauma, you’ll be able to correct several unhelpful beliefs.
3. Less triggering from the memory
Ever noticed how remembering a certain someone or something switches your mood completely? Revisiting a painful memory can trigger intense emotions as well as physical reactions.
Unprocessed memories tend to revert as a flashback of the event, leaving survivors hypo or hyper-aroused. To set the memories grip and control lose, narrate the event to a loved one to no longer return with the same raw intensity.
4. Feeling more organized
Unprocessed traumatic memories are often stored in fragments of the brain. Once you begin to recount your trauma, you’ll be able to see that it had a beginning, a middle, and an end. As a consequence, you’ll be able to organize the memory into a story with details like when it happened, where it happened, and why it happened.
You’ll also be able to place your reactions within the narrative frame. This practice will help make the memory more manageable and less threatening.
5. A sense of mastery
Telling your story out loud may demand every ounce of courage in your body, but the strength you receive as a byproduct of it will set you free and lessen your fears significantly.
Survivors who opt for this method felt strong and whole due to their nervous system being on high alert to avoid any similar consequences in the future.
Author Stephanie Hart’s latest release, Mirror Mirror: A Collection of Memoirs and Stories, is a book that is personal to her. She writes about her traumatic childhood and the broken relationship she shared with her parents. An excerpt from the book: “How could anyone be more beautiful? My mother comes over to me and enfolds me in her arms. I smell tobacco on her fingertips and perfume on her wrists. “You’re a part of me,” she says.”
The book is now available for you to read online via Amazon or in stores at Barnes & Noble; get your copy today.