We go through bad experiences as a normal course in life. We learn from these experiences. It can toughen us up and even help us appreciate the good even more. However, it can become traumatic when it exceeds our capacity for coping.
Events like the loss of a loved one, life-altering accidents, humiliation and abuse bring pain and devastation that may not be easily overcome. And long after such an event our body or mind still continues to put on defenses.
It was stated on the National Sexual Violence Resource Center website that, “The wiring of the human brain makes trauma possible. We are wired to retain information that will aid in our survival and keep us secure in the future. Our brain strives to keep us safe and make sure it doesn’t happen again when anything extremely awful, painful, or frightening occurs.”
In the face of distressing events, we can experience exhaustion, disorientation, depression, worry, agitation, numbness, dissociation, and anxiety. The majority of these reactions are typical for the majority of the survivors of traumatic events and are time-limited with proper intervention or therapy.
But what happens when we fail to recognize that we have been through such trauma or we fail to do something about how the event has impacted us? When instead of finding ways to process and heal from our pain we tuck it away or deny its existence only for all the pain and fear to continue to grow continually.
For example, childhood traumas we suffered or any unresolved emotional wounds can plague us in ways that frequently don’t appear to be obvious. Unconsciously or consciously these unhealed wounds creep into our thoughts, continue to grip our emotions, and even impact us emotionally, spiritually, and even physically.
Unresolved traumas affect our present
When we have unhealed emotional wounds we bring our pain to the present and it taints even every new experience so you can never truly live, trust, love, and enjoy the present.
The degree to which we haven’t been able to fully experience the pain and comprehend our experiences also has an impact on us. We carry our trauma around if we don’t deal with it. Because we haven’t fully understood and processed what happened, our past continues to influence our present in innumerable subtle ways.
It affects how we are as a friend, as a child, a sibling, and even as a parent, and how we interact with others. It affects how we feel, think, and behave in general and how we see the world, and how we go about our daily lives.
Unresolved emotional wounds and traumas cause lingering sadness. Following trauma, depression is a typical issue that may arise. It takes a lot for you to be truly happy and your moodiness can interfere with your life from day to day.
Social anxiety can also become a concern and with fear of social interactions come missed opportunities. Those who have experienced such trauma are frequently tormented by guilt, humiliation, and sadly even feelings of accountability for the maltreatment or abuse so they shy away from others.
They can feel unworthy of admiration or even insecure about the sincerity of other people, especially those who they have close relationships with.
Unresolved trauma alters the development of the brain to become stuck in a constant state of hypervigilance. Overthinking can happen to anyone, but those who have experienced trauma can be especially vulnerable. And when you overthink you become stressed and anxious.
Unresolved trauma can cause agitation and fear. You overthink everything for fear of the devastating past being repeated. Decisions big and small you have to make from day to day become a challenging task. You can experience erratic emotions and become haunted by flashbacks of the past.
Those who suffer from unresolved trauma could also resort to a variety of self-destructive behaviors. Addiction and eating disorders are a few examples. They do so in an attempt to numb their pain or to flee from any negative emotions
After an intense event, shock and denial are common responses. In the long run, what happens settles in and you master the courage to deal with it. But when you fail to do so you resort to disassociation.
Dissociation might make you feel as though you are looking in on yourself. You can have the impression that everything is occurring to someone else and that you are merely a spectator. Although it has its short-term benefits it can lead you to a destructive habit. Individuals who have the habit to disassociate lack focus and are unmotivated.
Physical Effects of Unresolved Emotional Wounds and Traumas
Unresolved emotional wounds not only put people at increased risk for mental and emotional diagnoses but are also at risk for developing physical issues. Endocrine and immunological issues might be brought on by lingering or latent trauma from events. These include cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, strokes, and chronic autoimmune diseases.
Common triggers for eczema flare-ups include anxiety and stress. As a result, more anxiety and stress are produced, which in turn causes more eczema flare-ups.
When the body experiences trauma, adrenaline and cortisol are produced, triggering the body’s usual defense mechanisms of fight, flight, or freeze. In the case of unresolved trauma, the body produces the same even in non-threatening circumstances.
It’s Never Too Late To Heal
The process of recovering from unresolved trauma does not have a set time limit. The good news is that survivors can do far more than just recover from emotional wounds. There is so much strength and natural self-growth from healing.
After reflecting on their horrific event, individuals may discover that they are more resilient than they ever thought. They can turn tragedy and pain into resilience and progress if they have gathered the strength to face and forgive the past. Battle scars are not to be ashamed of. They can be a reminder of how strong you have been and how amazingly far you’ve come.