Accepting your past doesn’t mean that it was in any way your fault. Being a survivor of traumatic experiences are undeserved and can create lifelong emotional problems. Accepting, but not internalizing, your traumatic past can be a process of growth which can result in accepting a new role as the creator of your new narrative as a survivor and not as a victim who deserved these painful events. The tricky part about being a survivor of trauma or other forms of mistreatment is that you most likely internalized the “poison” of others’ actions, words, or pressures to deny how painful these events were. Most people are now familiar with the term, “gaslighting,” thanks to social media. While others can “gaslight” you into believing that you are somehow “wrong” about your perceptions of your trauma, you can also “gaslight” yourself by internalizing the toxic emotions of shame, fear, and anger. In each of these “gaslighting” scenarios, you can become stuck in your past pain. This only debilitates you from moving forward in your current life. Shifting your perspective from “being in pain” to “accepting that pain was inflicted upon you” can be a game changer. However, this shifting of perspective is not a “one and done” moment. On the contrary, you will inevitably find that you must consciously do this perspective shift on an ”as needed” basis, which could occur numerous times on any given day. You must view this practice as a form of exercise which requires repetition and self-reflection which will become easier over time.
Self-Reflection Plus Self-Compassion
You can view the practice of accepting your past as self-reflection plus self-compassion. Self-reflection is a mental process which can increase your understanding of who you are in the present. Self-compassion is a willingness to learn from your pain, to take care of your daily needs, and to move mentally and emotionally away from your past. Another strategy for accepting a painful past is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which focuses on understanding your emotions from a more objective view, as opposed to denying or trying to escape them. You must first acknowledge your disturbing emotions and then to try very hard to learn skills for distancing yourself from them through “timeouts” when being triggered by these emotions, writing out these emotions to get them out of your brain, talking to a supportive person, using redirecting self-statements, or immersing yourself in a significant song or other meditative activity.
Moving Past Trauma
What holds you back is not your past adversity but the avoidance habits enacted to cope with the repetitive stress responses which are triggered by the memories of past adversities. To move forward each day from being a survivor of trauma, you must use self-reflection and confront in the present what your past has taught you to avoid. You must accept that emotions are always a part of your daily experience, yet they must not define who you are. You need to accept your emotions as tools for growth and to “befriend the demon” when negative emotions begin to flood your brain activities. Finally, you need to realize that the information conveyed by your emotions can be distorted and requires conscious attention and effort to revise the impact upon your current sense of self. Moving forward from being a past survivor of trauma requires persistent efforts toward recognizing the situational triggers which can knock you off balance. This is a learned skill which must be practiced as needed. This practice may occur several times in any given day and may be more difficult from time to time, given the intensity of the trigger upon your emotional responses.
Letting Go in Small “Timeouts”
A mistake which is commonly made by those who are trying to move beyond being a survivor of trauma is to think that the pain goes away like a light switch and that, if it comes back on, then they are “not over it.” Pain is inevitable in life. Letting go in small “timeouts” is the healthiest way to view the process of managing both past and present pain. My favorite “timeouts” are writing out the pain on any piece of paper I can grab at any given moment, blasting one of my “go to” songs (and there are many), taking a brisk walk, talking to a trusted friend, and just getting out of my head by getting out of my house or fixing my gaze and appreciation on a beautiful tree or the sky. Sometimes, merely saying your painful thoughts out loud, no matter how illogical or disturbing or frightening they may be, can give you a release from the tension caused by trying to avoid, deny, or hold in traumatic memories or fearful thoughts.
Taking 20-minute breaks when experiencing anxiety or insecurity triggers allows for self-reflection and can also provide valuable outlets of calm, mindful self-compassion. These breaks provide an intervals of space and time for redirecting your thoughts toward the present moment and reaffirming what is truly important in your life. When you move toward, not away from pain, it can be a useful guide for growth. In this way, you can practice self-care, gratitude, and gradually become “unstuck.” Furthermore, a vision of your different and more focused and confident life is free to unfold by the day. You will not always feel “good,” so please also be wise in knowing this and handling your thoughts accordingly. You ARE totally capable of doing all of what I have described in this post.
New Age Psychiatry
New Age Psychiatry offers licensed and certified psychiatric services through virtual telehealth appointments within the state of Florida. We understand the complexities that come with self reflection, being a survivor of trauma, and mental health disorders. We will work hard to help you manage your condition.
New Age Psychiatry is a modern mental health service in Florida that approaches addiction and other mental health issues with compassion and forward-thinking techniques. New Age Psychiatry offers certified psychiatric services through telehealth appointments in Florida. Some of the highlights of the New Age Psychiatry approach include:
- Online Screening – We will begin with certified online screening to provide an overview of psychiatric care. We also offer a personalized, specific diagnosis through our psychiatric Telehealth services.
- Diagnosis, Recovery, & Treatment – Our full range of comprehensive psychiatric telehealth services can aid in treating a multitude of psychiatric illnesses and assist in the recovery process in alcoholism.
- Telehealth Services – Our psychiatric telehealth services are available throughout the state of Florida and can assist you in psychiatric care through counseling and medication management
Contact us on the web for a virtual appointment. If you prefer to use email, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us today at (877) 769-5206 for more information.