One thing that’s important to note right from the beginning is that everybody has trauma. Whether you’re a mother, father, child, sibling or any other role in your family unit, everyone has trauma and stress that they’re dealing with, and that includes you. If you’re a mom struggling with trauma, it can be easy to feel lost, alone and out of sorts, especially if you haven’t explored your experience or talked about it with someone you trust. It can take a lot to truly learn and understand that you’re not alone, but exploring that truth and trying to internalize it as much as possible can help you grow and cope.
If you’re a mom who happens to be struggling with trauma — no matter what that trauma happens to be — learning that you’re not alone can be a process, and it’s a process that’s fully worth undertaking. Traumas can come in all shapes and sizes, and while completely getting rid of trauma might not be realistic, you can find support and learn to cope in ways that work for you and your family.
Everyone Has Trauma
While this may sound like an overstatement, it actually is true. While each person has their own version of trauma and experiences trauma in unique ways, trauma can actually be described as a distressing or disturbing experience that impacts the brain and causes an unpleasant emotional response. This means that while trauma can be caused by something dramatic like an accident, trauma can also be caused by other experiences like bullying or having a fight with a loved one. This fact speaks to the reality that plenty of people can understand your experience — including mothers like you — even if they may not have or use the same vocabulary to describe their experiences.
Trauma triggers the same regions of the brain that stress does, so trauma is an inherently understandable human experience. Someone doesn’t have to have the same trauma as you to understand what you’re going through. Trauma is a universal experience.
All Trauma Matters
Another common issue many people face when dealing with trauma is the desire to compare trauma. Sometimes, it can be easy to feel like your trauma isn’t big enough or scary enough to warrant attention or care. But the truth is that just like all trauma is different, all trauma responses are different, too. The same brain receptors are triggered no matter how large the trauma is, and there are so many factors that play into how different traumas can impact people. Remember that your trauma matters, no matter what it looks like and what that experience has been like for you.
One of the best ways to remember that you aren’t alone and to continue to grow in spite of your trauma is to seek help and support from others in your life. Going through trauma is harder alone, which is why seeking support like therapy, leaning on friends and family and being vocal about what you need from others can feel so powerful.
By finding professional help that can give you coping skills you can rely on into the future and building a network of people who love and care for you, you won’t have to heal your trauma alone. While you need to do the work to make the progress you’re looking for, part of that work is recognizing those around you that can offer a helping hand. It might require you to be vulnerable, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Motherhood Can Bring Trauma to the Surface
While this isn’t always the case, it can be beneficial to recognize your triggers in the grand scheme of life, and if they have anything to do with your journey to motherhood. Triggers can come in all shapes and sizes, and if you know that parts of your motherhood journey are making traumas harder to cope with, you can bring that to the attention of your therapist and work through it more effectively together. This can be especially important if your trauma is associated directly with motherhood — like your childbirth experience, for example. Traumas that are rooted in childhood or even sexuality can sometimes become more prominent during motherhood, and recognizing that can help you grow. While some triggers may be unavoidable, it’s important to learn how to cope with them once you recognize them.
You’re Not Alone
All of this is to say, you are not alone in your experiences as a mom with trauma. Trauma can make you feel alone sometimes, but that is far from the truth. By building a support system, relying on friends and family and even seeking professional help and guidance, you can learn to cope with your trauma so you can grow as a mom and as a person. There are so many moms out there that share your experience, and the more mom trauma is discussed and accepted, the easier it will be for everyone to find help and start to heal.