Myths about Healing
People cannot function after trauma/people will never have a ‘normal’ or happy life after trauma.
False. Many people go on to be happy after trauma. While life might never go back to the way it was before the trauma, many people are able to find joy and overcome their struggles. Trauma survivors often go on to have careers, get married, have children, or do other "normal" things. For those that don't reach those particular life milestones, in many cases it's because they have decided not to pursue them, not because trauma holds them back. Recovering from trauma and creating a good life after trauma is often challenging, but getting proper trauma support can help make that process easier.
“The best thing for people who were traumatized is to talk about it.” Traumatized people need to explore the memories and feel the feelings.
False. Talking about it can be a factor in acceptance and healing but this assumes that everyone responds to trauma and healing the same way. Sometimes people need more time to be ready to talk about trauma and forcing them to do it before they are ready can serve to re-traumatize them and make things worse. Some people might never be ready to talk about it. Some people are ready to talk about it, but it isn’t helpful to them and they don’t want to and that’s okay, too. Pushing the belief that traumatized people have to talk about stuff to heal creates an idea that there is some sort of rulebook to healing from trauma and there isn’t. It might push unrealistic expectations onto someone who then feels like they’re doing something wrong because they are not “healing” the right way. The truth is, there is no “right” and perfect way to heal. Everyone is different and what works for someone may not necessarily work for something else. At the end of the day, you should be asking someone dealing with trauma what they need and not telling them what they need.
You can heal someone’s trauma by loving them and caring about them.
False. Expecting someone’s trauma to be healed by “loving and caring about them” follows the same logic as expecting someone with a broken arm to be healed by “loving and caring about them.” Having support, love and care can be great. It might be an asset to the person but putting the unrealistic expectation that your love can “fix” everything isn’t fair to them or to you. This can lead to them feeling bad because they aren’t getting “better” fast enough. It may even lead to you feeling frustrated with them despite your best efforts not to be.
Time alone will heal trauma. I’m fine as long as I don’t think about it. It will get better on its own.
True and false. Some traumas do heal over time. Most traumas do require work to process and cope with. Some people prefer to just do that emotional work by themselves. Some choose to ask for help from a loved one. Others choose to seek out peer support from trauma communities (we have a forum and a Discord you can join - contact us). For people struggling with PTSD or people who are just really having a hard time coping, professional help is out there. There's no shame in asking for help.
Only the weak need help healing from trauma.
False. Healing from trauma is a skill. It's not something you can just power your way through through sheer stubbornness, personal resilience, or being "strong". Many incredibly strong and resilient people find themselves unable to make progress in healing from trauma because they're doing things that aren't useful or productive. Seeking out help, especially help from qualified professionals, can make a huge difference in finding effective strategies for healing from trauma.