Quantcast

I Scream, You Scream: Finding A Voice After Trauma

Inspiration

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 Source

Giphy

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 Community

Giphy

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 submissions@xonecole.com

As Normani continues to make her stride as a solo artist since the disbandment of girl group Fifth Harmony, the singer has since leaned on Kelly Rowland for advice. And who better than Kelly?

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

It was actually pretty close to this time last year when I penned the piece "How To Get Through The Holidays If You Don't Observe Them". Unlike some of the other articles that I write for the site, I pulled that one from very personal experience. Being that my personality is very wired to "be good" on something once I know its origin, holidays are something that I tend to take a pass on; this includes Thanksgiving (some insightful reads on its origin are found here, here and here). Still, this doesn't mean I'm not aware of the fact that many people use this time of year to reflect on their blessings and to say "thanks" for all the good that has come their way. Since I like to write on relationships a lot, I thought to myself, "Why not come up with ways for people to show gratitude to their significant other?"

Keep reading... Show less

I didn't want to say that I was having bad luck. That's not something I'd ever want to speak into existence over my life. But I will say something wasn't right. I had a few coins stacked in my purse from a one-time project as well as from an ongoing one. Then I received emails from not one but two publications within days apart asking me if I'd like to contribute a few articles every week. Opportunities and money were flowing in. If you follow the law of attraction, you'd say I was vibrating on a high frequency.

Keep reading... Show less

Tinashe has learned a lot about her mental health while growing up in the entertainment industry. The singer/songwriter began dancing at four years old and had her first movie role at five years old.

From there, she went on to be in a girl group The Stunners and act in TV shows like Two and a Half Men. Now as an independent artist focusing solely on her music, the "All Hands on Deck" singer opened up about the struggles she faced in the industry.

Keep reading... Show less

My favorite time of the year is the start of the official boot season which begins during the transitional period between summer and fall. What's most exciting about the sudden drop in temperatures is stepping back into those sleek pair of boots for the first time in months. Whether zipping up oldies but goodies or investing in a new fall 2021 boot trend, this year is all about the calf boot. Specifically, this is the best option when easing your summer clothes into the appropriate fall looks.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

'David Makes Man' Star Arlen Escarpeta Believes Love And Accountability Go Hand In Hand

"While we are quick to judge others, we really have to look at ourselves and call out some of the things that we do."

Latest Posts