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Navigating Trauma

Updated: May 20

“Hello there! I'm here to give you some information on what navigating through trauma may look like. I want to remind you that the suggestions in this post should not be taken as medical advice, legal advice, therapy, etc. Remember that every person's journey through stress or trauma is unique because you are one of a kind and there really is no one like you! Experiencing abuse in any form is not okay, but what you experience as a result of abuse is valid. Please know that healing is not a formula and no one else can define it for you. You do you and follow everything you need to help yourself. If you need more resources or need someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to contact Imaara Foundation."

It looks like living your life in the aftermath of healing the initial, raw trauma fresh after the incident causing the trauma has taken place. After unpacking the factors causing and enabling trauma and healing the initial, severe manifestations of and root causes for the trauma, most often, the next step involves returning to or reintegrating with everyday life. This could look like different things for different people: going back to work, returning to live at home, heading back to school, moving cities, moving home, altered living arrangements, and altered work / school arrangements.

At this stage, it is common to find a few triggers evoking particular kinds of traumatic responses, or memories of such traumatic responses. This does not mean that you have not healed: it may just mean that the memories are still around, enough to be revived when triggered, but not as intensely as it was in the initial few phases post incident. One is not superhuman: and therefore this phase is both perfectly normal and natural, and even expected. Think of it like peeling an onion: new layers are discovered on occasion, and these layers can fully well be addressed in ways that are gentle and supportive of yourself and your needs.

In this section, we share a few things that can support you in the course of reintegrating or returning to life and its many demands, while also navigating trauma if or when it is triggered.

What are triggers?

We’re constantly receiving information: whether that’s on our phones and social media networks, or in conversations and entertainment we consume. In the process, while some of this information enhances our knowledge, it is fully entirely possible for some of this information to leave you feeling triggered, anxious, or uncomfortable.

In simple terms, a trigger refers to something that evokes a particular reaction in you – it could be a word, a sound, a voice, a colour, a particular story, a name, a smell, a picture – pretty much anything. The wide-ranging nature of triggers is essentially because each individual responds to trauma in unique ways, and different things can be triggering for different people. To be triggered is to be placed in a situation where a stimulus causes an emotionally reaction or response in the individual perceiving the stimulus

Is it normal for me to experience triggers?

What are some reactions that occur when you feel triggered?

How can you respond to triggering stimuli?

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