Survivors of interpersonal trauma often feel alone, disconnected, or alienated, not because they are, but because they have trouble recognizing and accessing feelings of connection. Some of the typical symptoms of complex trauma which are to withdraw and hide, and to focus attention inward rather than on the outside world, exaggerate the sense of disconnection.
In fact, there are opportunities for healthy connection all around! Sometimes, we just don’t know where to look. One such resource is Trauma-Informed Oregon. Trauma-Informed Oregon is a network of people in healthcare, educational, and all sorts of different organizations who are interested in making sure that services in Oregon are well-informed about interacting with survivors of trauma. Take a look at some of the cool work they have been doing by visiting their website.
This week's belonging reminder:
I recently published a short blog post for Trauma-Informed Oregon. In this post, I discuss that a sign of healing is when survivor’s start naturally reaching for things that are supportive and caring for themselves when times are tough, rather than berating themselves. This does not come naturally at first, but instead, requires conscious effort and intention setting at first, until one day it becomes the default. Take a look at the post at Trauma-Informed Oregon for a little more information.
This week's practice suggestion:
Create a “self-care kit” that you can begin turning to when you are feeling disappointed, confused, anxious, or sad. Self-care does not mean fluffy kittens and expensive wine. Self-care is those little idiosyncratic things that resonate with YOU and that make you feel more fully yourself. You won’t be able to figure out what things should go in your kit while you are very upset, so go ahead and make the kit at a time of relative calm. You can place actual items in the kit like a crossword puzzle or a picture of your niece, or you can put notes reminding you of activities that resonate with you such as “going for a run,” or “silly dance number 3.” Don’t place any limits on what goes into your kit. Remember, we need more YOU in the world!