A lot of experiences we go through make us who we are. If we could have not gone through those certain experiences, be it when we were little or when we are grown-ups, we would have not become who we are. Trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. Trauma for some people leads to mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug use, and also relationships with family, friends, and at work.
There is some truth to this especially the part about alcohol and drug use. Some people can be able to handle trauma and that is a good thing but for those of us who run to get high just to forget about some things ‘sio kupenda kwetu’ It that when you are high you just don’t feel some things. I am not going to say it takes away the pain of the memory, it helps you to cope with it at a level you will not put much effort into it.
Trauma is a bad thing just generally and you don’t see it coming. You will be just chilling peacefully and BAM! It hits you where you least expected. I know this topic will trigger a lot of past feelings that were buried or recent ones that we are still trying to recover from. People deal with trauma differently, some can move on fast, and for others, it will be so hard to move on but it is okay no one is judging here.
I want to use myself as an example because it has been really hard for me. I will not go deep into the details because it is a topic that I would prefer to keep private. Recently something happened to me that I never thought would ever happen and it affected me with a lot of emotions. It was so hard to accept that I can also go through something like that and every time the experience started again, it happened after some time where I had already recovered from the previous one and I had to start again and gather my emotions again from where they were scattered.
It has been going on even now and sometimes I find myself asking God why He allowed it to happen. There were times I felt it was too much for me I wanted it to end quickly. Have you ever been suicidal? It is a great deal to feel you don’t want to exist anymore because the pain is too much to handle. On some occasions, I almost took my life because I never got to be heard by people, especially my parents. You try to explain your emotions and they dismiss them and say you are not supposed to experience that or you are too young to be feeling this or that.
The thing with trauma or emotions is that they get to everybody whether you are young or old and in the long run how you deal with it is what matters. Some people are not aware they are going through trauma and if you are reading this and you do not know I will let you in on how you can be able to identify them. Trauma can include events where you feel frightened, under threat, humiliated, rejected, abandoned, invalidated, unsafe, unsupported, trapped, ashamed, and powerless.
How trauma can happen includes; being directly harmed, witnessing harm to someone else, living in a traumatic atmosphere, and being affected by a trauma in the family or community. The effects of trauma are flashbacks where you relieve aspects of a traumatic event or feeling whether or not the details are specific, panic attacks which is a type of fear response that is an exaggeration of your body’s response to danger, stress, or excitement and dissociation which is a way where the mind copes with overwhelming stress and you feel numb, spaced out and detached from your body as though the world is unreal, low self-esteem, hyperarousal which is the feeling of being too close to the edge, ‘usinipush niko too close to the edge’, sleep problems, guilt, self-harm, suicidal, alcohol and substance misuse and losing trust in people.
I am no expertise with trauma or how to deal with it because I myself am a victim of trauma but if you feel the feelings are too much try to be kind to yourself first and you can try out other things like, you can try seeing a therapist who is ready to hear you anytime but that is for ‘mabombe people yaani’ it is for those who can afford. For normal people like me, you can try to come up with ways in which you can cope. It will take a lot of time to do this but in a situation where it can happen again you will be more experienced and you will try to reduce some of the effects.
For those who are suicidal, I know it is hard to open up, especially to people who will push away your feelings but you can try to look for helplines where there are people who are ready to listen to you no matter the time. I also try to speak to people who I know have been in the same situation I have been and they talk to me and let me know that everything will be okay in the end. Trauma is strong, but you are stronger my loves.
I LOVE YOU BY THE WAY!