What is trauma

From what I have gained knowledge around trauma as well as what I experienced going through traumatic events I can describe trauma as an undesired physiological response of the nervous system. Meaning that whether big or small trauma can be described as an event that makes you feel a negative emotion resulting in a response from your nervous system, mainly one that activates the fight, flight, or freeze reaction. 


No matter what you’ve been through, big or small, traumatic events if not dealt with or gone through what I call a healthy cycle of trauma, your subconscious will connect the unhealed trauma with future events. 


It is very important to heal from traumatic events because they can affect your trajectory toward life negatively. What it can do is cause your relationships to suffer, your self esteem can suffer, and place you in a position where if you go to places or events and are triggered can cause you to react in a way that you would otherwise not like. 


There isn’t a one size fits all solution or healing method for trauma. What I believe about healing trauma is going internally. Basking in the feelings that surfaced because of the trauma you faced allows you to feel your way through. Allowing those feelings to come through you and out of you I have found to be very healing. 


Being a victim of sexual abuse at a very young age of 4, my outlook on life from that moment on became a sexual one. I would often find myself connecting my experiences after that with sensations in my body. Because I never told anyone about the incidents, my mind became sexually distorted and I would often find myself acting out to gain some sort of control or freedom for myself. I would say I was a bit disturbed because of the confusion. I would internally place blame on my parents and resented my siblings because no one knew I went through this. 


As I got older events that were normal for a kid my age were corrupted with the connection that my trauma had left in me. That got me in a lot of trouble and it led to me having a victim mentality. 


For a long time I attracted partners who were highly sexual, highly involved and participated in gangs and gang violence. My victim mentality lowered my self esteem, it caused me to become shy and timid. I found myself putting up with a lot of cheating, dishonesty and giving myself in for submission fully and completely without anything in return. I basically settled for the least because my mind was so focused on things surrounding sex. It was like my worth was based on my partner’s approval of me. At times the outside validation that I craved trickled down to people other than my partner. 


In other words that traumatic event escalated to one traumatic event after another all because I hadn’t dealt with or spoke about how to heal the initial traumatic event. I never allowed myself to feel those emotions of anger in a way that I can observe them objectively. I never reached out for help and I never gave myself the chance to honor my emotions. I would judge myself harshly for not saying anything about it for a long time. I would judge myself and lessen myself considering myself undeserving or not good enough. As confused and lost as I was and unguided I would take my anger out on innocent people and pets who didn’t deserve my wrath or fury. 


It took me almost two decades to finally feel my way through and honor my emotions.  Error this I would try to bury that part of my past yet it hurt me so much that it kept on resurfacing. During my healing journey I was finally able to thank myself for being able to feel. The human trait that we carry, that being our moral compass, and emotions, was finally seen, heard and appreciated. And then I was able to finally free myself from the pain and agony that shackled me for a long time. I finally really and truly felt free because those negative feelings were finally free. I was able to change my perspective and outlook on life. I was finally able to choose for myself the life I wanted where as before my past experiences were the ones choosing for me. 


I worked up the courage and learned that I have the power to choose how I feel about anything I go through in life. I finally had a choice. I finally had a voice. I finally felt worthy and in control over myself. I was no longer anyone’s dummy. I was no longer a victim but actually an overcomer. I overcame my negative outlook on life. I overcame my victim mentality and empowered myself into believing I’m worthy. I am worthy. 


Maybe for you it wasn’t sexual abuse. Maybe it was verbal abuse or a bad accident. Could be a bad break up or an intense confrontation. Maybe it was something thought of as minor yet it still affects your life. 


No matter what it is I encourage you to take into consideration these simple steps that I am offering you to heal yourself from these undesired feelings. It is recommended for you to take these steps and use them during a meditation or journaling session:


  1. Pinpoint the traumatic experience that elicited the emotional response that caused your nervous system to be shaken. 

  2. I encourage you to allow the feelings to come up no matter what they are. Let them rise, and once they rise take a look at them. Don’t think anything of them, don’t try to run away from them or justify them or even bury them back in. Just simply allow the emotions/feelings to come up. You may write them down if you feel called to. 

  3. Once you are able to muster up the courage to sit with the emotions/feelings and observe them objectively, I encourage you to honor them, thank them and appreciate them because they have allowed you to define for yourself what you want in your life and what you do not want in your life. This is not easy. You might cry, you might cry hysterically and it’s ok. Most people retreat and that’s ok. Sometimes it takes time. But keep in mind that you will continue to be shackled by these past traumatic events until you are able to face them. 

  4. Once you’ve done the deed of honoring those feelings, you will find that you can now do with them what you please. This part of the cycle is called transcendence. You can transform the previous feelings into whatever you want. Change how you think about that experience into whatever feels good to you. What I like to do here is replace the old emotions/feelings with desired new emotions/feelings. It’s what you decide for yourself. It can be whatever fits the future/desired version of yourself. 


For example, for me I learned to change the way I saw the sexual abuse that was done to me. I started with what was easy. It was hard at first to find the easy around the situation because for so long I victimized myself. (I understand as a four year old I was a victim, but as an adult I don’t have to choose to continue to be a victim) It took me days and days even weeks until I was able to see my way through by embracing those emotions/feelings that came up.  Each time I revisited the events it would get easier and easier. It took me finding people who also experienced sexual abuse. I found myself intrigued by the way some people handled their sexual abuse. That allowed me to step into new perspectives and shifts began to occur. I started finding myself saying if not me then who? I started finding myself feeling grateful for the simple fact that there are people out here who teach how to get through these sorts of things. I literally did all the work. I isolated myself to give myself the opportunity to feel my shit and cry. I would often find healing while driving solo and just reliving the events as I drove in my car. I often cried in my car hysterically while driving. I know crazy/funny stuff but it really allowed me to release. I felt great after I cried. Once I realized that I can trust myself and protect myself because I’m not that four year old girl who was taken advantage of anymore, I felt genuinely empowered. During my meditations around the trauma I would talk to my inner child. I would talk to her like I was her mom. My inner child is me. My inner child is the one who feels all the things and I am the one who helps guide her through all those things. My inner child told me how she felt when she was going through all the pain. I was able to hug her during my meditation. I was able to give my inner child what she needed to feel better. That’s when things shifted. That’s when I realized I am not a victim. That’s when I realized I have the power to decide how I want to feel about the ordeal. I had the power all along. I will always have the power. All I have to do is allow myself to feel human by feeling those feelings, embracing those feelings, and guiding myself through those feelings. I didn’t want to feel powerless any more. I didn’t have to deny myself anymore. I didn’t have to hide behind a facade anymore. I broke down my own walls. I changed from a victim mentality to a victor mentality. I began to really trust myself. I felt like a conqueror of my own bs. I shifted my bs and went beyond it. 


By healing trauma you can uncover the real you. The authentic you. Not the you who operates based on the traumas that scarred you. 


If you feel like you may need guidance through the trauma please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment where I can help you see things through. 


It sometimes may take multiple sessions of this process. I encourage you to continue this cycle of healing until you feel fully transcended from the trauma you’ve built up. Don’t give in. Although it may be hard to face this obstacle in your life, I encourage you to push through until you pull through. I’m sending you so much love and so much light. And I know you will get through this 


With much love your coach Michelle Ortiz 

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