• Annie Byrne

Unpacking trauma

When you've placed a bandaid on trauma,

it cannot truly heal.


It may be terrifying to think of ripping it off

but when it comes to emotional pain,

you don't have to.


You can go slowly.

You can peel one corner off

to check the wound

and put it back down again.


You can do this over

and over again

until it feels okay

to let the wound breathe.


When people hear 'trauma' they usually think of the big 'T' trauma. The really horrible incidents we experience in our lifetimes. The car accidents, murders, violence, sexual abuse, shootings, terrorist attacks, burglaries, assaults, kidnappings, and much more. Unfortunately we are very exposed to this kind of trauma in our country.


But one doesn't often think about the other significant issues which are actually traumatic in our experience; the little 't' trauma which happens to everyone within a lifetime. It is the subjective trauma that occurs through: bullying, microaggressions, loss and grief of many things, abandonment, disappointment, vicarious trauma, verbal abuse, degradation, humiliation, isolation, etc. There are so many experiences which may be considered traumatic for people and it's important that we acknowledge and validate each person's experience without comparing varying 'degrees' of trauma.


When it comes to unpacking trauma, you don't have to rip the bandaid off and heal overnight. The healing is a process and it takes time and patience and loving kindness. It's okay to go slow; to go in and unpack a little and then come out again and shelf it for another day. People often have not been taught how to visit something traumatic within healing and then to come out again. They are worried that once they begin the process of unpacking then they will become flooded, overwhelmed and re-traumatized. Unfortunately this does happen to many when they do not have the tools or the support to navigate this.


Look for an experienced healer who will provide a safe container for you to visit your trauma, and then step out again. It's important that you build a rapport with them first and get to a point where you feel safe and that you can trust them to hold your pain and help facilitate your healing.


We all have trauma in our lives and if you have been putting on bandaids on yours, there's a good chance you'll need to address the wound. Sooner rather than later but it's never too late.

Registered Counsellor
PRC 0029408

Practice number 0784478

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