There are many ways trauma can enter our lives, affecting some of us for the rest of our lives. It’s a subjective and personal experience that individuals go through and must heal from. However, support from others can help immensely in healing and giving validation. Having someone there to make one feel safe, comforted, and reassured can help deal with the pain. While the protection and support offers healing energy, it’s important to be aware that we shouldn’t rely on others to heal us. This is especially important in our close relationships. Yes, supporting one another is important, and as humans, we need it; however, we have to be realistic on what our partners can give. They can’t be responsible for healing our internal chaos.
We have to consider our partner’s traumas as well. Their traumas could influence the way they respond to us, but our own traumas also influence the way we perceive the comfort we receive. Our traumas alter our trust in how things are supposed to be. We may not realize the ways we prepare ourselves for the next horrible thing to happen, whether it does or not. There’s a need to secure a solid foundation to feel a sense of security in a world we don’t trust. This could turn some of us towards our partners - to fill a void.
Feeling traumatized isn’t far from feeling betrayed. So when we feel like our partner isn’t there for us in ways we want them to be, we feel a sense of betrayal and disappointment. We need to feel understood and validated. This is how our trauma alters reality. Our partners have different life experiences, backgrounds, and way of communicating. While we want them to be in-tuned and connected to our needs, we can’t expect them to just know what we’re feeling. We can let our partners know what we’re feeling, but all that goes on within belongs to us, no one would know unless we tell them.
When communicating our feelings with partners, we should acknowledge that we can understand how it must be difficult sometimes to know exactly what we need or how to help. It’s important to let them know we recognize and appreciate the efforts they do make. Knowledge is helpful to everyone, but self knowledge is most important. Only we can heal ourselves. We can have support, but we really need to connect with ourselves more than worrying about how others are connecting to our needs.
Understanding our own traumas can be a challenge. Because our partners may not always be the best person to turn to for help, we can benefit greatly from talking to a trained professional who understands the effects of trauma. They can help open our eyes and see connections we probably overlooked. A trained professional can recommend therapy approaches and practices to help the healing process.
At Crownview Co-Occurring Institute, we have a team of professionals who specialize in complete well-rounded care and work together to create an individualized plan.