How to Manage The Aftermath of Trauma [The Stress Less Show – Episode 42]


Do you feel like you’ve tried
everything to manage the
aftermath of your trauma, but with no
success? Like you should be over it already. Maybe people have even told you
you should be over it already,
but you’re just not. If so, this episode is for you.
Hi. I’m Carlee Myers, a stress
management expert and this month we’re talking trauma and
tragedy on The Stress
Less Show. I’m really excited to bring on
Danielle Massi who is a holistic mental
health therapist and the owner of the Wellness collective. This is their second time on
the show. I’m so excited to have her back
now. She is a cancer survivor and
she understands the importance of holistic health and hopes
to bring awareness to everyone about the benefits
of taking care of yourself. Mind body and spirit. One of her favorite topics is
the mind body connection and the power of altering your
brain chemistry in charge of your thoughts. Now. I’m excited because we had her
on episode 36 where we talked about mental
health, but this month we’re gonna dig a little bit
deeper into the aftermath of
trauma. So Danielle, I’m so excited to
have you on the show. Welcome
. Thank you.
Thanks for having me back. I’m excited too.
Absolutely. So we’re we’re digging a little
bit deeper and I just. I’m so excited for you to share
to share your thoughts now. I know we already shared your
story on episode 36. So guys if you want to hear her
full story go check out that episode. We’re going to dig a little bit
deeper on to a specific part of her story because I think
it’s really important to this
topic. Yeah.
Thank you. And please go check out at
episode 36 because it gives a lot of
backstory to this but I’m
picking up where I left off with this
specific part of my story. I had a surgery – a
hysterectomy – and it was. Brutal to say the least. And when I went through this
surgery I came out and the
hospital was not able to manage my
medication properly. So I was in excruciating pain
that they could not regulate. And it took hours for this to
happen. By the time they finally were
able to release me and let me
go to a hospital room, my parents who were
there during my surgery had left. And so at the point where I needed
my parents the most – especially my mommy because
attachment reasons we really look for our
attachment figures in moments of extreme pain. She was gone. And so I had an immediate
trauma response in my body where I had a bit of a
freak out and it took. Months and months for me to
really reconcile this where every time I was
triggered by my mom, I would go back into that
trauma response similar to what might happen with
someone who experiences some really intense in their
life like being a poor which is called big T trauma
. When our response to a trauma is
really overwhelming and we can’t work our way out
of it it’s considered a big
T trauma. Little T trauma is trauma that
we engage in pretty regularly and we
don’t recognize the fact that
they are traumatic and have an
intense effect on our body. We sort of brush them off and
hope that they’ll go away. So everyone has experienced
trauma in some way. It’s just a matter of maybe
you’ve experienced a few little T traumas and maybe one
big T or maybe there’s no big T yet but
it may come. So this is a really much needed
topic and I’m so thankful to you, Carlee, for
bringing this onto the show
and highlighting it for a period of time. It’s so important.
Yeah.
Yeah. The tips that I’m bringing to
you guys today are first and foremost, I want
you to know the underlying cause of your trauma. So on the outset of my trauma
in particular, it might look like it might
not be a trauma response. Like waking up and not finding
someone there is sad, but it’s not
necessarily something that would cause
trauma. Right ? But if we look a layer
deeper, we have this
biological attachment need to our primary
caregivers in the moments where we are at our lowest we
look to them to provide
safety. So for me not having that
secure attachment figure to go to was traumatic. So knowing that means that I
know what is going to happen to me
in the future when this particular thing which for me
was attachment gets triggered. Second tip that I have for you
all is to understand what trauma
looks like in your body. So we know that there’s
little T trauma and big T
traumas and they might look different
. One of the stereotypical things we
talk about trauma is war veterans because they tend to
have really overwhelming big
T trauma. So for them in their body, it
might look like you know sweating, having a
meltdown, screaming at someone, but Little T
trauma or even big T trauma that is
really normalized in our society say things like
rape or just having a sexual encounter that
goes really poorly is not discussed in the same
way. So for instance knowing what
that looks like in your body it might be
during sexual encounters feeling like you’re not
actually present. So that’s called dissociation and
that is something that happens within someone’s body where
they’re having something happen to them and
they almost feel like they’re
floating outside of themselves. And that is extremely common
especially for women. I was going to say one of the
things that I always hear is
that you like your laying in the
bed and you’re like you’re looking like you’re
floating and looking down at yourself in that or
wherever that situation is. Oh yeah yeah. This is extremely common and
that is a trauma response dissociation is a trauma
response, but we don’t call it that. So knowing that when we
dissociate when we kind of float outside of our
bodies that is the trauma response is
extremely important to
recognize. That can happen for people in
other situations to think about when you have a
boss who yells at you. For those of us who have been
traumatized by an experience
like that before, we might feel like
we’re outside of our bodies and that is a
trauma response. It can also look like in the body
like you completely shut down and everyone around you
is like the Charlie Brown
parents where it’s like womp womp womp
and you can’t hear it because your body is having
a spasm. It’s just completely freaking
out. Knowing what it looks like in
your body is key to healing your trauma period. I think that’s really powerful
because I don’t think people
are talking about. I mean even like I’m saying as
we record this. It’s three days past the 15
year anniversary of my mom being shot right.
And. For about 10 years, it’s part
of my story. If you guys have been listening
and following the show you
probably heard a little bit of it. Ten years of disassociation or
some of these some of these bodily
responses and even working with a therapist I
didn’t learn. So I think just understanding
how it shows up in your body is just a key step to even say oh OK I’m experiencing a
trauma response now maybe we should go back to
tip number one and say OK what is the underlying
cause of this. Because this can’t keep
happening because it is
disruptive. Yeah it’s cyclical. And I think we don’t recognize
that as a society. So very often for us if we
would do go to therapy or we talk to other people
about it, we skip over it. I have friends casually talk
about dissociating during sex. Casually like it’s nothing. And it is in fact a trauma
response. And I’ve experienced it myself
before. So knowing what it looks like,
knowing what causes it, that means that we can get
to step number three. The last tip that I have for
you guys is to learn to manage it every single day because at
any given time something to
trigger that trauma response. So going back to the example of
having some kind of sexual issue occur. When that happens, we need to
know OK. This is a trigger for me. This is something that triggers
this response, so I need to calm my body down
right now. I need to work on that in this
moment. The more we understand our
triggers, the more we can get
ahead of it or even staying away from
instances where it might occur or if there’s things that are
unavoidable like you want to
have a healthy robust sex life and you can’t
avoid that to just do something about
preparing for it ahead of time like creating a really
nourishing safe relationship
with your partner. So when you say to try to
change the relationship or the way our bodily state is
you have any like quick just like
… Punch kind of punchy tips search
holes upon our bodies and get out of that
triggered state? Absolutely. I think I talk about this fully
in episode 36. So for sure if you haven’t
checked this out, go back to
there. But what we want to do is we
want to shut off our fight or
flight response and activate rest and
digest because our body is
essentially in fight or flight mode when we
experience trauma. We need to get out of there we
need to shut ourselves down. We need to protect. So the quick tip for that is
breathing techniques to actually shut down fight or
flight. My favorite is box breathing
. Breathe in for four. Hold for four for breathe out
for four hold for four. And you just keep repeating
that over and over again until your body starts to calm and
you’ll know because you know what it looks
like in your body. So when you start experiencing
rest and when you stop experiencing
the things that you know your
trauma response, you did it. And then you can re-engage.
Awesome. So for the listeners we want to
know do you know what triggers you comment
below and let us know ? And so Danielle. For those of us who don’t know
what triggers us like we’re just like oh my
goodness we don’t know what
triggers me. I don’t even know how to get
started. You wanted to you have
something to help people get
to the next step. I do. And you need to work with a
therapist that specifically
works with people who have a trauma
response. So look up trauma informed
therapist if you’re not in the Philly area
and if you’re in the Philly
area come see me because it’s
something that I work really really exclusively with. I do a lot of work with trauma
and I’d be happy to help you
work through this So you can find her, we’re
gonna be tagging her on Instagram Facebook
everywhere we post this video so you can shoot her a DM or
shoot her a message. And if they want to check out your
Web site what is that? It’s wellness P H L Doc com. Wellness P L dot com you heard
the woman. So that concludes this episode
of The Stress Less Show. If you enjoyed this week’s
episode, let us know by giving us a big old thumbs up
and hitting that follower
subscribe button. Thanks for listening and we’ll
see you next week.

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