While I’m no resident expert on how to heal trauma, I have learned a lot in walking on this path of recovery. Based on my various experiences over nearly 10 years of recovery, I wanted to share some of the modalities and resources that I have personally found to be the most helpful in my journey.
For many years I wore my trauma like a bad dress. It was evident I was in pain and I could not seem to get away from it. After nearly a decade of trial and error, I am mostly genuinely happy – even with a 1.5 year divorce process that was finalized in December 2015 (ie last month).
In writing the post about my sexual abuse, I didn’t shed a tear and I barely felt any emotional attachment to what I was writing. When I started the healing journey, I couldn’t even imagine that this could have even been possible!
I hope that if you or someone you know needs help with healing from trauma, that you will find something here that can be of assistance. Suffering is not required, there are other options to not merely surviving, but thriving.
Self-Care for you by you
Regular workout routine: helps fill your body with good feeling hormones, improves your self-esteem and keeps you in your body (needed for healing)
Meditation: keeps you in your body, releases unnecessary energy. Your Aura & Your Chakras: An Owner’s Manual by Karen McLaren was instrumental in helping me to find my meditation groove
Eating Healthy: Food can help to comfort us when we are low, but it can also reinforce the low and the shame when we gain weight, thus further complicating matters. When we eat better, we feel better. Though do your best to avoid self-shaming when you do choose to eat comfort foods!
Breathe: Holding your breath just holds in the memories and the pain, releasing occurs with the out breath. (A Breath Works Practitioner can be very helpful)
Epsom Salt Baths: Salts help with clearing energy while the magnesium helps your muscles relax and this can also help with restful sleep.
Find a great counselor, spiritual advisor, hypnotherapist, mentor or minister:
When I get stuck in a pattern and can’t break through, I have a go-to person. Not necessarily a sex counselor, but they can also be helpful.
Books that EVERYONE should read, in my humble opinion =)
I have shelves dedicated to my self-study of psychology, trauma and recovery of self-love. These are my highest recommendations. Interesting that they both have much overlap, but one is written from a scientific (well-researched) perspective and the other is spiritual – again with similar methods to getting to the same place: peace.
For the Scientist-type who needs Evidence & to understand the physical/physiological responses to trauma – this could help uncover so much!
Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma by Peter A. Levine with Ann Frederick
For the Spiritualist who needs the keys to practicing Self-Love:
Shadows Before Dawn: Finding the Light of Self-Love Through Your Darkest Hour by Teal Swan
None of these modalities requires physical touch, just be sure to tell your practitioner your touch or no-touch preference. I have the modalities listed below in rank order of both perceived benefit and from most to least invoking of feelings of physical vulnerability.
Oneness Blessings: my highest recommendation and depending on your location it may be the most difficult to obtain…
Body pain is a common side effect of traumatic experiences, even decades after-the-fact. I found regular massages helpful and relaxing. With a trusted practitioner, one can learn that the body is safe, even in a vulnerable position. Check with friends who have been to a practitioner they trust if you do not feel you can trust your gut.
Accupressure & Accupuncture
Sex it’s a need
This can sound insane when recovering from sexual trauma, but sex and masturbation can be helpful to recover the feelings of trust and love following trauma.
Masturbation is a great act of self-love during this process of healing. You can create new, positive memories and remind your body that feeling pleasure is safe.
While sex with a trusted partner can also be a great way to remember that being vulnerable does not have to mean that you get hurt. It can also help to heal the pain of the past, again by creating new memories and (re)learning that sex can be pleasurable. There may be times that you need to stop and take a break, just keep breathing and follow your heart. If it needs to happen, allowing yourself to cry can be incredibly healing and cathartic, especially with someone you trust in an intimate environment.
May we each learn that suffering does not have to be familiar. We each have the opportunity to live and thrive after trauma. Each journey beings with just one step.
Photo by sattva at freedigitalphotos.net