There's a misconception about trauma healing that when you heal from fertility-, pregnancy- or birth trauma, you will go back to all the activities you used to engage in prior to the traumatic moment.
But here's the truth: it’s not what you do but how you come to decision of what you do that defines unresolved trauma.
What I mean by that is, it's ok if you don't watch medical dramas because they remind you of the NICU or you take a different path to work so you don't have to drive by the women's hospital. It's ok if you choose to stop growing your family earlier than you had thought.
None of those are signs of unresolved trauma...if you choose them consciously.
But if you're making those decisions from a place of avoidance - avoiding feeling the heart palpitations when you watch Grey's Anatomy or the end of season 3 of This is Us or avoiding the anxiety you feel when you take that exit to go to work that you took the night you delivered your baby - that is much more telling of unresolved trauma.
Avoidance comes from triggers.
Your body recognizes those triggers as signs of danger and puts you in a defensive posture. In fact, you'll notice tightness in parts of your body when this happens.
Any choices that come from a place of tightness are actually trauma reponses. Your body prefers what feels safest, so it's not actually a choice but a reflexive reaction to get away from danger.
True choice comes from a relaxed body that holds no tightness. That is when the decision comes from a place of what feels good instead of just avoiding danger.
These are the choices you don't regret, that don't follow you with a lifetime of "what ifs", that don't leave you feeling pangs of doubt. These are the choices that last, that feel comfortable, and that you feel confident about. Relaxing your body is more than deep breathing and stretching, though. If it were that easy, no one would be living out trauma responses after a challenging family-building journey.
Relaxing your body is about feeling safe again. We spend 2 modules on body safety in The Whole Story because it is the foundation of healing after fertility, pregnancy and/or birth trauma so you can feel peace without fear, joy without anxiety, and like you again.
Notice how your body is feeling the next time you have to decide something. Does it feel tight or completely free from tension? Let me know below!
And if you consistently notice tightness, especially as it pertains to decisions, choices and actions related to your family building journey or parenting, The Whole Story is your next step. Join us today and learn how you can reclaim your life, your health and the ability to make decisions without your past dictating your future.