Trauma Isn’t Strength

Hi.

I’ve been feeling led to talk about trauma recently, and how many of us equate the way we’ve survived traumatic experiences with being strong. Trauma isn’t just the huge thing that many people think trauma is— in fact, if you feel like something or someone traumatized you, you’re right, and your thoughts and feelings are valid. Trauma isn’t always a single massive, life-changing event; sometimes trauma are situations we’ve endured that eventually become an area or topic that is traumatic for us.

For example, many people are traumatized by being yelled at as a child. This might not mean that one time a child was yelled at really badly to the point that they were traumatized by yelling, it might be that the child was yelled at sporadically over the course of their life that has resulted in them being overall traumatized by yelling as an adult. But sometimes, one big event is all it takes.

However, it’s not sustainable to associate surviving trauma with strength. Does it take strength? Absolutely. Undeniably, in fact. But I’m recently realizing that solely basing my strength on the situations I’ve had to endure isn’t the reasonI’m strong, I’m strong because despite enduring these things and feeling like I didn’t know how to take care of myself and move on, I found it within myself to do it anyway. Pushing myself to live through depression and anxiety on top of what hand life has dealt me was strength. Making sure I fed my body and got enough sleep and drank water when I didn’t feel like I deserved these things was strength.

How do we get away from basing our strength in our trauma? We have to start giving ourselves credit for the little things instead of minimizing them. Getting up and making sure you get to where you need to be might seem small because it’s what you’re supposed to do, but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to execute. It takes a level of strength to do that, and you should absolutely give yourself credit for doing it.

It’s also important to remember that if you haven’t experienced trauma, you’re still strong. If you have experienced trauma, that doesn’t make you any less strong than anyone else. You’re not broken, you’re not helpless, and you’re certainly not hopeless.

You’re strong, and you don’t have to earn the right to call yourself that.

Xo, Cydney


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