*trigger warning* The importance of being trauma-informed

Margo Groeneveld
15 Aug 2021

*trigger warning on trauma*

This is a story I barely share, let alone on the internet. Because when sharing this I want to feel held, and cared for. And sharing this story on a blog (or somewhere else on the internet) is hardly a place where that’s being promised. But in this case, Im getting a sense the bigger cause trumphs my privacy. After sitting with it for some time, I’m sharing this for you (the world).

The trauma that comes after the trauma

I have a history with complex trauma, with loss, neglect, abandonnement, abuse. A list that is so long that the simple stuff like being bullied (for years) doesn’t even make it to the agenda. For a long time I thought it wasn’t that bad, but as I grow older and more comfortable with my past, I have come to conclude it was. It really was.

But that isn’t all of it. I have worked with many people to face my past and build the life Im dreaming of. And, I retraumatized in many cases. I will share two.

When I told of my sexual abuse the first time, it was being met with the comment ‘Somewhere I must have liked it’… Being fifteen, the memory might not be accurate, but still. The word trauma wasn’t used, nor being treated. It took fifteen more years before a therapist came up with the right diagnosis. A psychotherapist who worked with the body. I was referred to her because I reenacted the abandonnement of my mother with a haptotherapist. The recovery wasn’t easy…

(And for the ones who want to understand the depth of the trauma around sexuality in society (as a way to take the power from women), I’d recommend Vagina from Naomi Wolff (the book is as straightforward as the title, I haven’t been able to finish the book…))

Becoming serious about trauma and conciousness

But I’m lucky, because I know in the end, deep down, I’ll manage. I’ll get through. I have never lost my ability to reach out for help and I have a good sense of what I need . Whereas many don’t. Some people freeze and can’t focus (and need to finish the stress cycles), others will be on medication for who knows how long, or worse… As I don’t want to make this harder than it is for the ones who have been there (or their family), you can fill in the dots.

Working with people (and their trauma, the numbers are known), working with consiousness, is no joke.

Social media actually aggrevates this. The change in connection, the impact of screens, the addictive components, where a no isn’t a no… doing little to nothing for the human skills nor providing the safety of physical presence. In the Netherlands some psychiatry organizations are closing their doors because of the numbers of incoming patients.

Safe the world? Become trauma-informed (or make music…)

So if you want to safe the world in this age with a rapidly growing number of (online) coaching businesses, become trauma-informed (or make music, which I truly believe is the quickest, safest and did I say cheapest way for the worst if it)… And to give you a sense of what it takes, the greatest coaches I’m working with have spend ten to twenty years (at least) on personal growth and traumawork before they were able to live their thriving life in deep integrity and truly hold others in the darkest of darkness.