Let's Rethink Trauma

People who do DNRS are also dealing with trauma, as some sort of trauma leads to the limbic system impairments that lead people to seek out DNRS. (Actually, everyone has some trauma in their past, but not everyone is aware of it.) The trauma that leads to a limbic system impairment can be just about anything, ranging from a highly emotional event to an illness--it just depends on how your body interprets the experience. So I want to briefly expound on this very serious, widely misunderstood, modern buzzword.

In today's world, the word "trauma" is simultaneously thrown around, belittled, and fixated on more than ever before. But in that wide spectrum, I seem to see belittling of it happen the most, so that is more so what I want to address.

Trauma cannot be compared.

By far the most common negative response to someone's claim of having experienced trauma is that the traumatizing experience could not have actually been all that traumatizing. Or that what someone else claims to have experienced can't possibly be as bad as what they themselves experienced. But trauma is not a competition. And no two people have the exact same "playing field."

Here's the thing: we don't all go into stressful or emotionally charged events with the same slate, and definitely never a clean one. We each go into them with a slate absolutely covered in our unique past experiences and emotions, which we may or may not have ever worked through and which, layered, can very much affect what our bodies find traumatic. Because here's also the thing: we don't really consciously decide that something is traumatic--our bodies do. And more specifically, the brain and nervous system. 

I have said this before, but if I described one experience that my body clearly found traumatic in my past, many of you would roll your eyes. But the layers of my experiences before that--and the resulting state of my nervous system--did in a way set my body up to find something more traumatic than less so. If my nervous system had been regulated at the time and I knew then what I know now about trauma, emotions, and healing, I am sure the event would still very much have bothered me and even hurt me, but I don't think my body would have responded to it all as strongly as it did. Dare I say, I may not even have exited college and entered chronic illness had my body--and specifically my nervous system--been equipped to handle what came over those four years.

But this leads me to a very important point:

Trauma is not your fault. 

I know I just laid out how I might have improved my body's response to an experience it found traumatic, but that is said with the blessing of hindsight. We can only do what we know how to do, and I handled the situation the very best I could at the time. You cannot judge your past self for not knowing what you didn't know. And similarly,

Trauma is not all in your head.

Far too many people have mentioned dealing with trauma, just for a friend, a relative, or even a doctor to tell them they think it's just all in their head. 

You know your body far better than anyone else, and only you can feel what you feel--and you know when you are dealing with trauma and trauma responses. I know it hurts--a lot--when people doubt or don't get it, but please don't let that make you doubt yourself or not seek healing. 

A Disclaimer

While all limbic system impairments are caused by some kind of trauma that led to the neural chaos, keep in mind that if you are doing DNRS, the trauma is not going to be addressed in the way you are likely expecting. Check out this post for more. 

In summary, whether we realize it or not, we all deal with trauma at some point. We cannot compare or validly judge trauma. We can absolutely heal. We can also lower the severity of our responses to heightened circumstances by setting up our brain and nervous system to operate in the best health possible. But of all the emotions and feelings that go along with identifying and healing trauma, guilt or judgment on your past self should not be one of them. Give yourself (and your past self) grace.

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More to see:

My DNRS FAQs | all my DNRS posts | the DNRS website

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional, and nothing I say is to be taken as medical advice. I speak only of my personal experience. | affiliate links above

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