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  • Writer's pictureJessica Johnson

Tuning into your Emotions

Raising children with a trauma history takes us toll on us. Much of the time it can feel physically and emotionally draining.

Perhaps you’re functioning a bit like I did for years. Just trying to keep the ship afloat. You churn out meals and dishes like a machine. You brace yourself when your child wakes up or walks in the door after school never knowing what their mood will be or when they will completely fall apart.

Perhaps you can resonate with the idea of experiencing vicarious trauma. Your child may have so much sadness, and fear inside them that comes out in the form of anger and rage. Because you are the one who is there-you are the one who absorbs all of it.

It’s important that we take time to slow down and acknowledge all that we are holding. It’s ok to take a break and say “this is really, really hard.” When we tune into what we are really feeling, we can gain important insights about ourselves, and the influence other family member’s energy is having on us.

A mentor once told me “tears are healing medicine for the body.” This resonated deeply with me. In our society we are often taught that crying is a form of weakness, and we should hold our tears in. Now I’m not saying that you should completely loose it in front of your kids. But I do think that naming your feelings and allowing yourself time and space to cry can be such a healthy release. Our bodies can only hold so much before they start giving us signals that they have reached their limit.

Journaling can be a healthy practice to engage in. Journaling improves our awareness of the situation and helps us process our emotions.

The other piece that is so important is being part of a supportive community and finding people you can talk to who understand the struggle you are in.

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