In our forty’s women start to examine what we really want in life. Sometimes trauma we have experienced keeps us from getting and doing the things we really want in life. There is a misconception that trauma is only defined as an extreme or severe event, when actually there are ranges of trauma that we experience. Events such as the divorce of parents, experiencing discrimination, or being in a car crash are considered traumatic; as are more severe events like physical and sexual abuse.
Trauma comes in all types and forms and varies for everyone. If you are breathing you likely have suffered some form or some level of trauma in your lifetime. There are physical and mental responses that occur when the body experiences the extreme stress associated with trauma. Allowing trauma to go unaddressed causes issues in relationships, effects how we communicate, how we interact, how we make decisions, and how we function in daily life. It can have a negative effect on wellness and quality of life—for us and for those around us. For some reason in our forty’s we suddenly begin to realize how trauma has affected us.
Seeing a licensed therapist is one way to help you address and work through trauma you have experienced. Going to therapy can be scary at first and is even considered taboo in many communities. There tends to be a stigma that if you are in therapy you are somehow broken— or worse, you have mental problems. I believe it is the exact opposite! Seeing a therapist means you are self-aware. It means you believe in self-development and improving your relationships and you want to be your best self so you can live your best life. The challenge with trauma is that it stays in your body, mind, and soul until you address it. I am not an expert, but since I am on this journey to cultivate the life I want to live, addressing trauma that I’ve experienced in my life is important to me and a priority for my life.
For me, the divorce of my parents as a child was a huge trauma point. Like most childhood trauma it is one of those issues that doesn’t manifest until you are an adult, because as a child you are unable to process it. In my next blog post I’ll go into more detail about additional trauma I have suffered and how I believe it has impacted my life.
3 Reasons therapy for women in their 40’s is a must
Stress and trauma manifest themselves physically. Trauma evokes stress and it effects your body in ways you may not realize. This includes things like headaches, fatigue, changes in appetite, insomnia, and many other symptoms that cause us to not feel well and unable to function normally. Addressing trauma with a therapist allows you to understand what happened to you, how to work through it, and most importantly move forward from it. Therapy naturally reduces the associated stress and helps you to cope and physically feel better.
It’s not fair to dump all your issues on others. We all share what we are dealing with and going through with our closest friends and loved ones. This is a natural part of relationships and part of supporting one another. But there is a point where if the trauma is too much for you to bear, it is likely too much for others to bear and may begin to cause problems in your relationships. This is usually a point where it’s a good idea to seek out a licensed therapist. After all, therapists are professionals and listen and bear burdens for a living—it is their chosen profession. Therapists have a desire to guide people through their challenges, they are educated (with advanced graduate degrees) and most importantly they are licensed to help you! If you are sharing your trauma with others who themselves have unaddressed trauma, then basically it’s like the blind leading the blind, and neither one of you are getting the help you need.
Trauma does not go away on its own. Dismissing trauma and ignoring it only causes trauma to fester and brew throughout your life. Something that happened twenty years ago can still influence your life today. There is an amazing thing about being able to talk about things that breaks the power and the hold it has over you. Depending on your trauma you may have a longer or shorter healing process. Therapy is a good starting point. There is something about speaking truth to someone who doesn’t know you and only has your best interests in mind.
Therapy has been a blessing in my life and has helped me work through a lot of my own trauma and issues. Its one of the reasons I don't look like what I've been through. I find it empowering and cathartic and a way to move forward so that I can live the life I really want to live. We do not have to be bound or held hostage to trauma that we have experienced.
To my 40-something ladies: How do you address trauma in your life? Have you ever tried therapy? What has been your experience? Post a comment below to this blog post. I would love to hear from you!
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