Survivor of Trauma
As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I spent some time in therapy dealing with the
effects of my abuse. It was an emotional process for me. I doubted myself a lot
of times and was unsure whether I could get through it. I cried often and leaned
on friends for support. No matter how I felt, I showed up every week and utilize
the skills that I learned in therapy. Trauma, like abuse is not something you forget
about, but you learn to manage.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is not just a horrific experience such as abuse, neglect or abandonment.
Trauma is the loss of a loved one, dealing with a divorce and even having to live
through a pandemic. If you were one of those individuals that watched the number of deaths rise each
day during the pandemic; you experienced trauma. If you dropped your loved one
off at the hospital during the pandemic and never saw them again, that was
trauma. If you watch George Floyd’s life being taken by a police officer leaning
on his neck, that was trauma as well. All these experiences have impacted us in
one way or another and has made it difficult to move on with life as usual.
Trauma can be defined as an overwhelming inability to cope. That experience that
you are trying to make sense of and struggling through can be defined as trauma.
The Impact of Trauma
Trauma impacts how we interact with others. It impacts how we build and
maintain relationships. It influences how we look at ourselves and how we think
others look at us. When trauma goes unaddressed, it can lead to low self-worth,
depression, anxiety, etc. It can also manifest in our bodies causing headaches,
stomach pain, and other medical issues.
Traditionally trauma is what we may consider to be a hard or challenging time.
However, after experiencing trauma an individual‘s daily functioning has been
As someone who was abused, I recognized the pain I was dealing with was
beyond going through a challenging time; I needed help. I needed help to process
all the emotions I was feeling. That’s when I sought therapy.
This piece was written by Siah Hagin