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Mass shootings, epidemics, and political violence are just a few of the events that have caused many to feel extreme fear, stress, anger and depression. However, you are managing well. why? It may be because you have been in shock.
Trauma survivors may have distinct inner experiences that those who have not been traumatized may not share. These experiences may give you an edge in your ability to cope and function emotionally during a crisis.
Your body is already in a state of hyperactivity
Hypertension is a common symptom of trauma that does not always go away once the traumatic experience is over. If your body is always ready to fight the danger, run from it, stay still until the danger is gone, or comply in order to survive; You may be experiencing some level of hyperhidrosis. You can experience one or more of these responses when you encounter a threat, and trauma causes these responses to persist even after the threat has passed.
Ruth, 52, is a complex trauma survivor who was present during the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois for the Fourth of July parade. She heard the gunshots, so she immediately cursed her grandchildren and ran. Her family tells her she is a hero. Ruth told me, “People don’t understand. I had to keep myself alive for 15 years while I was a victim of incest and physical abuse. I have a Ph.D. in survival.”
Ruth does not remember any changes in her mood or physical sensations during or after filming. This may be because she was already in a state of hyperhidrosis, and it was this familiarity that allowed her to quickly transport herself and her two grandchildren to safety. A persistent hypertonic state is not something you want to stay in, as it can have harmful emotional and physical effects on you. Ruth understands this and is involved in trauma therapy. She says, “I would like to do a Ph.D. It is something else to change. Like gardening or rude motherhood.”
You are skilled at solving problems in real time
Trauma creates an excessive focus on survival that some people have not experienced before. This focus can teach you to quickly focus on solutions in order to enhance your safety. Some trauma survivors report that they can hold back their feelings and distractions long enough to engage in complex problem solving.
Fernando is 24 years old who was laid off during the pandemic without any savings and was unable to find a full-time job for 8 months. As a survivor of child neglect, he learned how to earn and manage his own money when he was eleven years old. As a result, he was able to purchase food, clothing, and medicine to support his survival. On the day Fernando was laid off, he made a detailed plan.
“I know I should have been afraid,” he told me. “But I didn’t. Honestly, it just felt so natural. I know it was going to be tough, but I also knew I could strength through it.” him too. Fernando has kept himself afloat with a series of independent gigs, bartering, selling belongings, and volunteering at food banks in exchange for food.
you are flexible
Exposure to trauma can create resilience, which can be defined as “the psychological quality that allows some people to be let down by life’s adversities and at least come back as strong as before.” Your ability to adapt depends on any physical or psychological coping mechanisms that protect you from harm. For example, if you have a dry cough – a common symptom of COVID-19 – you may feel nervous and say to yourself, “Calm down, let’s see what this is before I get nervous.” If you are able to adapt and return to a calm state, this may be a sign of resilience, and trauma survivors may be more resilient than those who have not been traumatized.
Trey is 42 years old and has been incarcerated in a US prison for more than 5 years. In that prison, he was placed in solitary confinement and deprived of food for long periods. He has learned to ration his food and manipulate and/or the bride’s guards into giving him food. When COVID-19 appeared, he didn’t feel the need to stock up on food or worry.
“If they told me today that all grocery stores were going to close, I would be fine,” he said. “I know how many calories I have to eat a day in order to live and as long as I get it I’ll be fine. Going without food wouldn’t be a shock to me, because I’ve been preparing for it for years. It’s nothing great but I feel like I’m miles ahead of other people who haven’t that they were without food.
There are many people who have experienced trauma and have negative reactions to crises in our world. In fact, many trauma survivors reported being exposed to increased trauma triggers as a result of these events. However, there are also survivors who report feeling calm, prepared and even empowered. Your experiences in trauma may provide you with your unique strengths.