Hi everyone! This video is going to be about trauma and abuse, and how you can work your way through it to ultimately overcome it. I have discussed my personal traumatic past for anyone who is interested. So, I’ll have an annotation and a link in the description. [My Past] Additionally, I’ll have other various resources of videos I have done in the description that you can combine with these techniques to better aid in your recovery.
Trauma and abuse takes many forms and affects everyone differently. Two people with similar backgrounds could be the complete opposite in regards to how they cope and deal with day-to-day stress. One could be filled with horrifying flashbacks of abuse, while it may not even bother the other one. Everyone’s interpretation of abuse or trauma is different. Just because you may not have had a childhood of abuse, or were in the military, doesn’t mean you are not struggling. This is why I don’t like to say one person’s trauma is more severe than another’s. While there are different levels of trauma, and how complex it can be, everyone is different and what may be traumatic to someone may not be to another. Everyone’s story is important and unique in itself because it is real to them and they suffer with it.
Physical abuse, emotional abuse, abandonment, sexual abuse, whatever else, it’s all very real and serious. No matter what abuse you have endured, no matter how complex it is, there is always a way of coping with it and developing ways to handle the situation so it doesn’t bother you as severely. When someone has been through abuse and are traumatized, they often have flashbacks of the disturbing memories, things feeling like they are relieving themselves, and it’s always on their mind. Trauma influence a person on a such a deep level that it causes them to, subconscious, relive the trauma. It can cause someone to have nightmares, flashbacks, negative coping mechanisms, dissociation, and loss or confusion of self or identity. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a serious condition that can take a very long time to get to a healthy, stable place.
When someone is in this cycle that constantly relives itself, it’s actually quite easy to see why. When you try not to think of something, it’s all you will think about, consciously. After repeated times, it becomes engraved in your mind. But subconsciously, things are a bit different. When someone was abused, there are various coping mechanisms that they employ, many times it’s subconscious. And when you get to the core of it, the coping mechanism is so they gain control over the abuse that had been done to them.
Let’s use a common example, a boy is being abused by their father at home. It’s mostly physical abuse. This boy goes to school and they bully several kids they think they can take advantage of. They do it because it makes them feel good with themselves and superior to the kids they bully. But deep down, the core of them is vulnerable and traumatized. They make up for that perceive inferiority by creating a false self with an inflated ego. They are bullying kids at school, essentially repeating the abuse being done to them at home. Why are they repeating it? On a subconscious level, they want to pass it along so others know what it is like for them. But ultimately, they want to gain control over the abuse being done to them at home. They cannot confront their father at home, the one abusing them, but they can imitate the abuser and bully other kids to make it seem like they are getting revenge on their father. It’s not uncommon if this boy, when bullying the other kids, were to envision him doing it to his father. The boy wants control over the abuse, so a subconscious attempt is made to stop it.
But this method is ultimately a cycle that does not stop the abuse, but spread it. I talked more about bullying and the cycle of abuse in my bullying and cyberbullying videos. So, I’ll have an annotation and a link in the description. [Bullying | Cyberbullying] Other ways of projecting it are to focus the abuse inward. Instead of bullying others, you bully and abuse yourself. You neglect yourself. Perhaps saying you are unworthy, cutting yourself, “I don’t deserve to be happy.” This can often go hand in hand with bullying others as well. But, there are ways of getting out of this negative space and being in a more positive one which I will discuss now.
What You Can Do
What can you do to cope with trauma and overcome it? Ultimately it’s up to you, quite literally. You have to be willing. If you believe you can get through it and work through it, then you will succeed. If you doubt it, then you will not. For instance, if you go to a therapist and have doubts they will help you, you form a negative perspective of that therapist and their ways of teaching. When you do this, you don’t adopt their suggestions and views, or resonate with their teachings, and thus therapy would not help you. If instead, you go, listen to what they have to say, and think, “Hey, maybe this will work.” Then it will. Your perspective and willingness to want to work through it comes before anything else. If you are not willing to help yourself, then you will not achieve what you want. The answer comes from within yourself.
Next, you have to eliminate any existing abuse. Let’s take an example of someone who was abandoned as a child. They have great fear of abandonment and do not want it to happen to them. They are always in a relationship with someone, but each person they are with ends up leaving them and abandoning them. They are reliving their trauma over and over again. It’s obvious why this is happening to them. For one, they have the fear of abandonment. It’s always on their mind. They have not overcome their abandonment issues from the past. So subconsciously, they choose partners that will ultimately abandon them so they can overcome that traumatic memory of abandonment in the past.
Ask yourself if you were abused in your past, are you with someone today that is doing the same to you? Are you reliving it? The types of connect we form and people who are in our lives are a reflection of how we perceive ourselves. So, if you have great fear of abandonment, you will attract people that will abandon you. If you were physically abused in prior relationships, and are with someone now that is doing the same, you are reliving your trauma.
What needs to be done then is to eliminate anything that would remind you or make you relive the abuse. This includes people. You have the ability at any point to eliminate people from your life that abuse and/or abandon you. In other words, don’t associate with people that are making your past come back. Rather, associate with those that will be part of your future, that is free from abuse and abandonment.
The next tip is to face the memories and learn to let go of them. The only way you can overcome the memories is to face them. If you deny or block them out, you are creating resistance and repressing those negative memories that are causing issues for you. Think of it as working at a job. You can’t get paid for the job unless you do the work. No one else can do it for you. So, in order for you to overcome the trauma, you have to face it. Now, this is probably hardest part because you have to go back to those memories and essentially relive it, feel what it was like, then go of it.
A way to mend those wounds from childhood is to go back to those traumatic memories, reexamine them, feel the emotions, memories as they were at the time, and then let it go. Perhaps be a good parent and comfort that child, that child that you once were. Showing them love and acceptance and letting go of the negative situation and memory. Maybe even reconstruct the memory to you liking so it is positive. Don’t give up until you are satisfied with how you want it to be. Rewrite the memory, feel the memory and then associate something positive with it to rewrite it to have a positive resolve. That is essentially how you go back and rewrite the memory so you are nurturing your past self, the one that was abused and traumatized.
Another method is, let’s say you are having very negative feelings and emotions, think about getting that out somehow, positively. Perhaps write about it and channel the negativity out as you write and let go of the emotions. One person I spoke with would envision those negative memories and emotions going into a physical object and imagining it being destroyed, or going away, whatever allows you to safely let go of those emotions you are having. You don’t want to force it, you want to allow it to go away.
Relatedly, when those intrusive memories start to manifest in the present, you need to have a distraction to bring you back to the present. This is important as well since when you begin to obsess over the negative memories, you start to feel worse, and end up going back to the trauma. Have something in the present moment to bring you back to the present moment. In other words, it will allow you to let go of those intrusive memories by having a distraction. So for instance, just like the previous example, if you are having those intrusive thoughts, begin to focus and dedicate your attention to something else. You want to take your mind off of those negative thoughts, but you don’t want to “not think about it.” Because when you try to not think of something, you think about it. So, this is where distractions come into play.
Intrusive thoughts come in, imagine it going into an object into your surroundings and dissipating. Here comes another thought, let that go into the object as well. Keep at it until you are done with it. Combine this technique with breathing exercise, relaxation techniques, anything and everything that will bring you back to the present moment and make you realize that those past memories are not reliving themselves.
By focusing on your goals and understanding why those past events happened you will let go of those past memories. Envision the person you want to be that is free from trauma and abuse and has worked through it. Who is your future self and how will you become them? By focusing on how you want to be, you will be the person given enough time and dedication.
One of the most difficult things that many people who have experienced trauma may have is to look at the positive reasons why the traumatic event happened. Or rather, what you learned from the experience. Not matter what it was, there is something positive that has come of it if you observe and pay attention. There is always something to learn. Sometimes an important life lesson is learned, or something else entirely that is not always obvious to you. Things are not always clear on the surface, so if you dig deeper and see why it happened, what you learned from it, and ultimately use the experience to be the person you wish to be that has endured so much and is a very strong person, then things will be more conforming.
Which brings me to the last point, being patient and believing in yourself. When you are in that negative downward spiral or at the bottom, the only way of being in a better place is to go back up. You can’t just go from here to here. It needs to be take one step at a time. Otherwise, if you try to jump straight to here, you’ll be in for disappointment since it’s probably not going to yield the results you are looking for.
By realizing that there is no escaping your past. It will still come back to haunt you at times. But, you have then learned techniques to help and it won’t bother you as badly as it did when it was all you would think about. During the process of recovery, things can seem more difficult since you are not use to talking about those negative situations. But, when you work through it and give it enough time, you will get through it.
So in conclusion, it is possible to overcome abuse and/or trauma you have been through. All you have to do is be willing to help yourself and be patient. It takes time. But, with enough dedication, you can succeed at this. Just believe you can make it through because you know you can. I hope this video was informative and helpful. Thanks for watching!