Trauma Recovery & Boundaries

When addressing a traumatic event in your life that has been a secret, avoided or too terrifying to confront, there are some essential elements to consider to help yourself feel safe. Vulnerability, boundaries, and empowerment are crucial when you have been abused. This posting relates to all person's that have been violated in some way. Sharon Martin, LCSW developed the list on the right to provide guidance for developing healthy boundaries. When sexual, physical or verbal abuse happens at an early age, there is no chance to protect yourself or even understand that it is a violation, which is NOT YOUR FAULT. Your recovery and sense of power to take control of yourself, relationships and emotions depends empowering your thoughts, actions and choices to protect yourself, create a sense of safety, and trust your instincts when your gut tells you "danger." As a child, you were violated, which made you confused, fearful and damaged your ability to trust, feel safe or protected. Taking your power back means saying no, recognizing your limits and dealing with personal safety. To survive any trauma, the mind has means to dissociate from the experience, however, this causes problems over time when you want to connect intimately with someone else. To recover from abuse, there are some essential elements to enhance resiliency:
  • Safety
  • Trust
  • Choice
  • Empowerment
  • Authenticity
  • Re-connection to your body, emotions, sexuality and physical touch
Psychotherapy helps make you feel whole again with intimate relationships. You don't have to live life avoiding your past and fears. Trauma recovery is possible with support, at a pace and place that is safe and manageable. Your instincts will guide you on who to trust and what is working to help free you up from fear and the past. Trauma Informed Care has a resource guide.  This is a trauma cycle showing an internal dialogue and feeling that accompany betrayal. 

This link will get you to it. Trauma Informed Care Resources

How to be happy.......

In a recent series of articles on happiness, I found a comfort in the profound simplicity to elevate and influence happiness in your life. Also noteworthy is that the first and foremost elements have to do with your thinking. Negative thinking to be precise. Being a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT) , I found the concepts to be helpful in demonstrating a methodology to combat negative thinking and how this influences your feelings and subsequent behavior. Tara Parker-Pope, the author was really on target with how to examine what you need to do or avoid to help your happiness.  A quote from her article: "Everyone has the power to make small changes in our behavior, our surroundings and our relationships that can help set us on course for a happier life." Let's start with mind. 
  • Conquer negative thoughts--replace them with positive thoughts & images
  • Rescript your life--you can take time to rewrite your story focusing on gratitude
  • Work on optimism
  • Hang around positive people--who we associate with influences our mood
  • Play more
  • Create positive memories
  • Get active with your body
“Friends can exert a measurable and ongoing influence on your health behaviors in a way that a diet never can.”
Remember, challenge your negative thinking and replace it with positive, loving and kind thoughts.
(click on the link for the full article) NY Times Article