I Scream, You Scream: Finding A Voice After Trauma
Can you think of a time when you were scared, hurt, or stopped cold in your tracks? Are you able to recall an event that forever changed your views on a certain person, place, or thing? What about an experience that rocked you to your core? One that you couldn't forget even if you so desperately tried...
The word "trauma" stems from a Greek word that translates, literally, to mean "wound." This is quite befitting, as the physical, emotional, and mental traumas that many of us are forced to face have become wounds that touch the innermost parts of our beings. Trying to pick up the pieces after a traumatic experience can be anxiety-inducing at best and life-altering at its peak. Searching for healing often means traveling right back through the darkness, and the courage that it takes to simply exist as a person that exuberates melanin magic is often a heavy enough burden to bear in its own right. Examining the ways that our pasts, presents, and futures coincide to create our personal trauma stories is no easy feat. However, one key principle is clear and undebatable:
You are worth whatever work it takes to find the courage to speak again.
Whether your personal form of "speaking" means simply telling yourself that it's OK to feel through the pain or encompasses beginning the healing work that many of us so desperately need, it's all worth it. Your voice, your pain, your experiences that continue to create the masterpiece that is wholeheartedly you - it all matters. From childhood woes to adult terrors, each event that any of us deems as traumatic is just as important as the next. There are no competitions in the realm of healing, no "less thans" or "should have beens." We each have a right to grieve, cry, yell, and process our experiences in whichever ways we deem most fit. What can we do, as women of color, to find our voices after trauma?
Here are some ways to allow your inner light to shine as you foster the strength you need to symbolically speak again.
Speak With A Trusted SourceGiphy
You know what happened. You were there, you took every labored breath and lived through every moment, drawn out in time as if forever could be fully felt. But, have you shared it? Have you been able to talk about what happened; have you allowed yourself the privilege of expressing your truths? Speaking with a trusted source - whether a cherished friend, a mental health professional, or a spiritual counselor - can be a crucial step towards healing. Sometimes, just simply speaking it aloud can be the breakthrough we need to realize that our experience was truly, tangibly real.
Recognize Personal Triggers
Even after having been through similar experiences, each person's trauma can manifest in various ways. Know that it's okay to have completely different emotions than another survivor, and find solace in the fact that your journey is totally valid. Our "triggers" can manifest in many forms, from certain people and places to a singular song on a playlist. You may not even realize that a particular circumstance is bound to elicit a reaction until it does just that. Are there any things that you know of, today, that trigger personal negative responses? Recognizing the events that evoke painful feelings is a heavy step, but it can aid you in working towards having control of future reactions.
Find Strength In CommunityGiphy
One of the biggest strengths that we have is our innate bond in sisterhood; use your community to aid and uplift you. We, as black and brown women, are innately magical. We have shared experiences, whether big or small, that have the ability to foster a strong sense of external support. How can you help yourself to heal, and in turn become a source of help for others? What about your story is necessary to share so that the next sister can experience some much needed inspiration on her own journey towards truth-telling? Your story is all your own - and I'm willing to bet that it has the power to change the life of another community member.
Most Importantly, Be Honest With Yourself
Before anyone can find support from external sources, talk about their experiences, or acknowledge familiar triggers, they must begin the work within. You cannot start to heal from a source of trauma that you are not ready to recognize and be honest about. This doesn't need to involve another person, or even have to encompass total forgiveness, but it must be authentic. Being unapologetically you, trauma and all, means that you can start to recognize how your experiences have shaped the woman you are and will continue to become.
Your survival and resilience alone is a testament to your inner strength; your self-vulnerability is proof that you are worthy of going through it to subsequently grow through it. Being honest with ourselves is a process. It may not be easy or swift but it is necessary. As we begin to find our voices after a traumatic experience, we may uncover deep-rooted feelings that we weren't previously aware of. We may cry, sing, yell, write, share, or pray, dealing with our aftermaths can show up in a variety of ways.
However and whenever we choose to own our traumas, we are stronger than we know. Our voice will come in its own time, and when it does, it deserves to be heard.
Featured image by Getty Images
xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gas Lighting, Love Bombing & 5 Other Triggers To Call Out In Your ... ›
- Mashonda Tifrere On The Importance Of Self-Inflicted Solitary ... ›
- Life After A Restrictive Religious Upbringing: Millennial Women ... ›
- The Keys to Finding Happiness After a Traumatic Childhood ›
- Finding a voice: revisiting the history of therapeutic writing. ›
- Finding Your Voice | HuffPost ›
- Finding her voice: A true story of trauma and survival | News from IIRP ›
- 5 Powerful Self-Care Tips for Abuse and Trauma Survivors ›
- How Trauma Can Affect Your Voice - VoiceCouncil Magazine ›
- Finding One's Voice after Domestic Violence and Sexual Trauma ... ›
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
One thing about Megan Thee Stallion is that she’s going to motivate you to stay active. From afar, she seems like the perfect gym bestie, and up close, it looks like her workouts would have us gasping for air. But hey, she doesn’t call her routines “bootcamp” for nothing.
After an extended break from social media and the public eye, the Houston Hottie is back sharing the high-energy workouts that are keeping her lean and she’s happy to report that “the results have been resulting."
The 28-year-old rapper dropped an Instagram Reel, detailing the workout routine that’s putting her endurance to the test. With the help of her personal trainer, Megan has one word in mind when it comes to her progress and that’s: “Consistency.”
The “Savage” artist has been traveling, making “hot girl moves," and after returning from a trip to New York, she expressed that her trainer is pushing her to keep the same energy back in the gym.
“I had just gotten back from New York and I told my trainer, ‘Look, friend, I was having a time. Can you please take it easy?’” Megan said. “He said, ‘Hmm, I’ve seen you doing all that hot girl s—, so what you need to do is get in that gym and have that same energy.’”
Her trainer then instructed her to do jumping squats with an exercise ball and resistance band around her legs for an extra burn. “I put my thing down, flipped it, and reversed it and that’s what happened. This sh– burned like a motherf—,” she teased in the video’s voiceover while executing both forward and backward jumping squats.
It’s clear that when it comes to Megan’s fitness, her trainer doesn’t play around about pushing her to her limits. In the next set of her cardio moves, we see the Grammy-winning artist jumping rope and moving on to a combination of mountain climbers and lateral jumps over a speed hurdle.
“Right here, that’s when I realized: I’ve been saying my trainer’s crazy but I know he’s really, really crazy because he must think that I’m trying out for the Houston Texans or something,” she joked.
To finish her workout, Meg hit two more barbell exercises, one being a set of cleans with 10-pound weight plates on the barbell. She then closed out by doing lunges with the barbell racked on her shoulders.
Of course, the best way to close out a workout is to nourish yourself with a balanced meal. Meg showed off her delicious post-workout plate with salmon, a sweet potato, and assorted veggies.
With so much of her public life being shared on the internet, it’s nice to see her letting us in on her progress in a fun and motivating way. “I just want to be transparent with y'all. Working out hurts, but it’s really a mental thang, so go do it!”
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Taylor Hill/Getty Images