attacked can leave many scars, both physical and mental. Everyone deals with the
aftermath in different ways. After being attacked and the perpetrators thinking
they left me for dead, was just the start of my trauma. I don’t know how anyone
can be in control again, however I try all the time. The pattern of what
happened to me happens to men, women, and children all over the world. Race,
sexual orientation, social economic status, and even in a group setting don’t
matter when a person is attacked.
real concern I have is what happens after the fact. For me I would check all
the windows, doors, under the bed, in the closet, and so on. I was so worried
that the two me would show up again. I began to have panic attacks, that moved
into PTSD, anxiety, and depression. As the progression continued my mood
continued to swing. I acted out in very negative ways and became self-destructive.
How is it that some people can move on and some people fall apart?
have many years later have found my way through a counselor, doctors, and allowing
myself to open up to my family and friends. It will never leave me, it has made
my senses heightened with my children, probably overprotective but I just never
want my kids to be beaten the way I was. I would never forgive myself as a
parent and more than likely want to kill the person who would try and hurt
wonder if I will always carry these feelings, if I will always be scared, and
if I will ever get over my fear and PTSD. On PsychologyToday.com Some of the triggers
after an attack:
Replaying the Memory. Many people find that the mind returns
over and over to the upsetting memory, almost as if on a loop.
Nightmares. While the actual experience probably felt like a
nightmare, it’s common for real nightmares to haunt our dreams in the aftermath
of a trauma.
Flashbacks. A flashback occurs when the trauma memory gets cued and
makes it feel as if the trauma is happening all over again.
and Anxiety. Perhaps the most common emotional reaction to a trauma is
feeling fearful and anxious.
Anger. In addition to fear and anxiety, anger is a very common
reaction to trauma. We might feel anger at the person or situation responsible
for our trauma.
Sadness. We often will feel sad and cry after a highly traumatic
Guilt. If the trauma involved someone close to us being injured
or killed, we may blame ourselves and feel guilty that we didn’t somehow
Feeling Numb. Sometimes rather than feeling strong emotions, we feel
shut down emotionally, as though we’re made of wood.
Trying Not to Think About the Event. By definition, a
traumatic event is not a pleasant memory, so it makes sense that we would want
to avoid thinking about it.
Avoiding Things Related to the Event. Sometimes we avoid
people, places, or things related to our trauma because they trigger the
Difficulty Trusting People. When we’ve been attacked by another
person, it can be hard to know whom we can trust—especially if we were caught
Believing the World Is Extremely Dangerous. Immediately after
a trauma, the mind is likely to see the world as very dangerous. Whereas we
might have underestimated the danger in the world before the trauma.
Blaming Yourself for the Trauma. It’s common to feel guilty after
something terrible happens to you, as though you’re to blame that it happened.
It’s easy to use the advantage of hindsight to see the “mistakes”
we made. In reality we almost certainly overstate our own
responsibility for the traumatic event, and as a result feel unnecessary guilt.
Thinking You Should Have Handled the Trauma Differently. So many
trauma survivors I’ve treated have talked about how they “should
have” had a different response to the trauma,
Seeing Yourself as Weak or Inadequate. It’s not uncommon
after a trauma to start to see ourselves as being “less than” in some
Criticizing Yourself for Reactions to the Trauma. In addition to
beating ourselves up for having experienced the trauma, we might also be upset
with ourselves for being upset.
Feeling Constantly On Guard. When the nervous system has had a terrifying
shock, it doesn’t immediately settle down.
Seeing Danger Everywhere. When your nervous system is highly attuned
for danger, it’s going to be set to detect any possible threat, which probably
means you’ll have a lot of false alarms.
Being Easily Startled. A nervous system temporarily stuck in the
“high” setting is going to be easily startled by things like a
Difficulty Sleeping. Sleep is a vulnerable state, and when the
brain and body are revved up, we’re likely to have a hard time sleeping.
Loss of Interest in Sex. As with sleep, the brain may be inclined
to avoid sexual activity following a trauma.
gives ways a person can support their natural resilience to help the healing
process, even if a person can’t forget the pain, mental and physical, you can
help work through some of the trauma a person sustains:
Allow your feelings. Don’t try to ignore or deny them. You may
feel grief, anger, anxiety, exhaustion, or something else. You may just feel
numb. These are all normal reactions.
Balance your thoughts. When feeling overwhelmed by tragic events,
it’s easy to forget the good in the world.
Minimize your exposure to news media. Once you have the
facts, it’s a good idea to limit watching replays of the events.
Focus on what you do have control over. The images we see,
the stories we hear, and our own thoughts about what happened can increase our
Turn to others for support. Being alone with your thoughts and
emotions means there is no other voice in the conversation. Others offer
different perspectives, while giving you a chance to talk about how you feel.
Tap into your compassion. Reaching out and supporting others
can shift your mental and emotional focus.
Understand what is being done to protect your community. The more
you know about what has happened, the more effective steps you can take to
minimize your risk and increase your sense of safety.
Move from fear to awareness. Being constantly fearful is not
helpful. It can limit awareness. Awareness – paying attention to your surroundings
and noticing anything unusual about people and their behavior – is helpful.
Maintain a normal routine and lifestyle as much as possible. When an
attack occurs, life can feel chaotic in many ways.
Feeling physically strong can help you feel emotionally strong. Make sure
you get enough sleep to feel well rested. Eat a healthy diet. Exercise and
being physically active can reduce stress. Avoid overuse of alcohol and/or
Give yourself a break. It may be hard to focus and concentrate at
times after a traumatic event. Your energy level may be low.
Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, when
emotions run high. Even taking a short time-out to bring your thoughts to the
here and now can help.