Self-Care for Trauma Survivors

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Surviving trauma can be a lifelong struggle. When your trust is broken, it leaves an impact that can alter your view of the world and your future. Specific sights, sounds and feelings experienced during your trauma can be brought back up when you’re exposed to similar sensations later in life. Sometimes disclosure – sharing your story – can help you work through these difficult memories.

If you choose to tell your story, remember:

Be Patient with Yourself

First and foremost, take all the time you need. It’s up to you to decide with whom you share your story. Many people find that sharing their experiences can provide some emotional relief and comfort, but it can also be difficult to convey what happened or how you’re feeling. Writing down what you want to say may help with the process.

You're Not Alone

There are many people available to listen. You can choose to disclose what happened to you to a loved one, like a family member or close friend, or a professional, such as a counsellor, lawyer or crisis line. If you do speak to someone in a more “official” kind of role, they are trained to work with people who have survived sexual abuse or violence, which can be helpful because their focus will be on understanding and listening to you.

Your Feelings Matter

It’s OK to seek help and support any time after you come forward. Telling your story can bring out feelings that may be difficult to cope with. Don’t hesitate to seek out emotional support from a trusted family member or friend, or from a professional who can offer counselling or mental health care.

Above all, your well-being is the most important part of the disclosure process. Take your time, find someone you trust, and build your support network. You deserve to be heard.