27 Feb Avoid potential trauma
Learning about trauma is interesting and may be relevant to you, but avoiding trauma is a good idea overall. How can you avoid trauma? Just like wearing a seat belt in a car, you can take precautions that help prevent trauma from happening. You can reduce the chances of some traumatic events. Some traumas are completely outside of your control, other events aren’t your fault but you have a degree of control over the chances of them happening.
Getting hit head on by a drunk driver – outside your control
Being caught in a burning building – outside your control
Being beaten by your significant other – not your fault, but you can take some control
Being mugged in the park at 2 a.m. when you were sitting by yourself because you wanted fresh air – not your fault, but you had control over whether or not to put yourself in a high risk situation.
It’s up to you to make decisions that keep you safe. Many people make poor choices because they either didn’t plan ahead well, or they didn’t put their safety first. Your safety is most important.
The older you get, the more control you have on your life. If you want to learn more about childhood trauma – something very much out of our control – head over to Trauma 201. For now, your number one defense against the kind of trauma you can actually control is to build your sense of self. When you build your sense of self (the Your Self Series objective!) you begin to make decisions that benefit YOU and those around you. When you make solid decisions, then you are less likely to put yourself in harm’s way. For example, meet Tina….
Tina had been in an unhealthy relationship. In ninth grade, her boyfriend was sweet and affectionate at first, but then grew to be controlling and isolated Tina from her friends and family. Thankfully, Tina was also building her sense of self through the Your Self Series books and website (true story, name changed). As she developed more self-awareness she realized that her boyfriend was not treating her as well as Tina knew she deserved. She grew less tolerant of his abuse and began to stand up for herself. Eventually, she broke up with her boyfriend. Though he threatened her, she sought help and learned how to protect herself from his behavior. Tina realized that she had averted (meaning avoided) a potentially traumatic situation (a Type 2, repeated trauma, that would have left her scared, anxious and vulnerable!).
Building your confidence, your self-concept and learning to not put up with people who treat you poorly is one way to avoid potential abuse – trauma. But the first step is developing the self-awareness to see what is happening to you in your life and how you are managing it. Overcoming and managing trauma can be highly complex which is why you can read more about this in Trauma 201, Connect The Dots.
(If you need help with an abusive relationship, check out the Dating Abuse and Healthy Relationships posts.).
Have you ever seen or heard about someone who put themselves in a high risk situation?
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