In light of the recent horrific tragedy that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida. The team of RK Care Group would like to start out by sending our thoughts and prayers to the victims, families, teachers, school staff, and the city of Parkland as they cope with this extremely traumatic event. We want everyone coping with this tragedy to know that you do not have to deal with this alone. The pain that a traumatic event like the mass shooting that occurred on 2/14/2018 cannot be described in words. It is hard to understand and process that so many innocent individuals and children lost their lives so unexpectedly.
Everyone processes trauma differently. There is no right or wrong way to deal with what has occurred, only your way. You may feel guilty for not dealing with it a certain way or not wanting to talk about it, but again that is how you process it. No matter how your process difficult and traumatic situations, just know that you should not feel that you have to do it alone. There are many people out there who are able and willing to help whether it is counselors, faith leaders, mentors, or friends. Please do not feel that you need to suffer in silence.
There are many common reactions that are attributed to trauma and these reactions can be scary and overwhelming for any individual especially a child. Many people are not aware what common reactions to trauma are. Knowing what they are may normalize what you or someone you know is going through. Also, keep in mind when we experience a traumatic event, it leaves an imprint on our brain. Our body remembers trauma and will commonly react in ways that may not make sense to us. Common reactions to trauma include
- Replaying the memory
- Increased feelings of fear and anxiety
- Defensive reactions
- Lack of Trust
- Self – Blame
According to a trauma expert Judith Herman “Traumatic events are extraordinary, not because they occur rarely, but rather because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life.… They confront human beings with the extremities of helplessness and terror, and evoke the responses of catastrophe.” As a survivor of trauma you might feel overwhelmed by the emotional, physical, and psychological symptoms that you are experiencing. You might be surprised by how long they have been present in your life. You might worry that you are crazy due to your symptoms. It is important for you to know that it is okay to feel this way and it is normal to feel overtaken by your reaction to trauma.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a difficult time, get them or yourself help. You do not have to go through this alone.