Everyone has had at least one bad experience in their life that could lead to mental instability or manifest as physical symptoms. These symptoms can range from a feeling of abandonment to a phobia of what caused the experience in the first place. They also can develop issues with intimacy, trust and control, according to caron.org. “For example, if a person experienced a sexual assault, the feelings around trust, control, self-esteem and safety brought up by the pandemic could contribute to a more intense experience of powerlessness,” the website reads.
So, what can you do to fix this and improve your relationships where issues have been created? According to A New Outlook Recovery, there are several steps that can be taken, including taking time to understand yourself and your triggers, understanding that the situation now isn’t the situation then and talking about what happened. “Healing entails having the tools to soothe and comfort yourself. What soothes you? Journaling? A hot water bottle? A warm bath? Develop new self-caring behaviors. All this self-loving will spill over into your relationships,” the website reads.
I have been catcalled, sexually harassed and taken advantage of by guys that either I did not know or trusted completely, so this makes me wary of guys in general, leading to feelings of lowered self-worth and dependence on sex. Obviously, if I knew how to get rid of the issues 100%, I would be superhuman, and while I have tried to follow the advice in the above articles, this is what worked for me.
First, take care of yourself physically. Not in the Instagram way of floral baths and candles, although if that works for you go ahead. What I mean is, stay hydrated, eat, rest. Give your body what it needs to function. My thoughts are so much worse when I haven’t had enough to drink.
Next, try to have a schedule, but don’t beat yourself up if you fail to stick to it. I am still working on this one, but try to remind yourself that you are accomplished even if you only complete one thing.
Now that you have that down, there is work that needs to be done emotionally.
Much like the article said, remind yourself that this isn’t the same situation that you were in before. Focus on the differences. For example, your current significant other isn’t like the one that hurt you. Maybe they fence the same way and are of a similar height, but this one is far more affectionate.
Finally — and this might seem counterintuitive — don’t avoid the triggers. This may not be true in all cases, but you cannot stop living your life because of trauma. Don’t stop playing your favorite sport or parking in the area where something happened. Please don’t be afraid to keep living like I was.
“The healing of trauma, just like the healing of a broken arm, is essential to a healthy, functional life. Moving towards a healed life and realigning with your own wholeness brings you more fully into the present, making room for connection, intimacy, and freedom,” says A New Recovery.