How to Tell Your Loved Ones About Your Trauma
Talking about trauma is not an easy feat. But if you're constantly reliving a specific traumatic event or cycling through negative thoughts surrounding the trauma, confiding in a trusted loved one can help you feel less alone. A supportive community is integral to trauma recovery, and you don't have to go through it all alone. You can tell about your trauma.
Telling About Your Trauma and Pushing Past Shame
Telling people you trust about your trauma can help alleviate the burden you carry, but the act of sharing can also stir up a lot of shame. When I first opened up to a high school boyfriend about my childhood sexual assault, I was met with disgust. Eventually, he even held the assault over my head as a form of blackmail during an argument, threatening to tell the entire school — as if it was something I should be ashamed of. This made me never want to tell about my trauma again.
However, I knew I had simply confided in the wrong person. I knew those closest to me would love, respect, and support me if I explained what had happened and how it was impacting me presently. Eventually, I found the courage to speak up again; it was through doing so that I was able to shed my shame, build a supportive community, and begin to heal.
Telling Loved Ones About Your Trauma
You are under no obligation to talk about your trauma; you don't owe anyone your story. But if you feel the desire to share, opening up to the right people can make all the difference.
When I finally decided to tell my family and close friends about my childhood assault, I was shaking every time I sat down to do it. My hands were quivering, my voice was breaking, and my heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest from beating so hard. But those who love and care about you will not judge you; they'll want to hear you, understand you, and help you in any way they can.
If I hadn't opened up about my trauma, I never would have sought therapy for it. I never would have understood why dating and intimacy were such challenges for me. I never would have worked through my self-esteem issues or been able to function in my everyday life.
The people in your life — your community of loved ones — are there to support you. Let them listen to you. Let them love you. Let them hold your hand while you heal yourself.
Caramela, S. (2023, July 23). How to Tell Your Loved Ones About Your Trauma, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, February 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/traumaptsdblog/2023/7/how-to-tell-your-loved-ones-about-your-trauma