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Ep #102: Healing From The Trauma Of Divorce | Becoming You Again Podcast

Divorce trauma is real. You often feel trapped by your past and what you once had, being triggered over and over again by photos, memories, your ex, your home, what you once had. You also feel paralyzed when you think about this future because how can you possibly move forward alone, a single mom, with less income and more uncertainty. People tell you to trust yourself. People tell you everything will be okay. People tell you to learn to love yourself. But when you go through trauma it's like there's a disconnect from yourself, and trusting yourself, knowing everything will be okay and loving yourself seem impossible to do.

Healing from trauma is where the magic happens. This is when you return to and reconnect with yourself. I'm going to teach you the four basic steps to healing from trauma so you can show up in your life with curiosity, openness, acceptance and love.

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If you're going through a divorce or are divorced, odds are you've gone through something traumatic. It may show up in how you're constantly second guessing yourself. It may show up in how you feel triggered by even the smallest things. It may show up in never feeling secure in your emotions, always feeling like they are out of control. It may show up in your ability to believe that you're worthy, lovable or capable of living a life on your own. If any of these are resonant with you, then I invite you to schedule your free consult with me and we'll talk about what may be helpful to you to get you through the trauma and begin to heal. Schedule your free consult by clicking here.

Featured on this episode:

  1. Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.

  2. Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.

  3. Want to work first hand with Karin so you can stop worrying about what your life will be like after divorce, and instead begin making it amazing today? Click here to apply to work 1:1 with Karin as your coach.

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Full Episode Transcript:

I’m Karin Nelson and you’re listening to Becoming You Again episode number 102.

Welcome to becoming You Again. The podcast to help you with your mental and emotional wellbeing during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the trauma of your divorce by reconnecting with yourself, creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life so your life will be even better than when you were married. I’m your host Karin Nelson.

Hello my lovely listeners. How are you all doing? I am actually getting over about getting over being sick for probably about two weeks. I guess it was a little bit less than two weeks, but almost two weeks. It felt like forever if I’m being real. I am finally starting to feel better and I’m so grateful for that. You know when you’re in the middle of being sick and it just feels like your world is going to end and you’re going to feel like this forever. That is maybe the worst feeling in the world. And I hated every second of it, I have to say. I was sick with a cold for about a week and then I started to feel a little better and then I was hit with another wave of sickness for about another week, just a little less than another week.

But I was so tired and exhausted and depleted. But I have come to this realization that maybe played into why I was feeling so down and out for so long. I find this really fascinating. I’m a few months into my trauma-informed training course that I have been going through and as part of this program, we bring our own relationship trauma that we need to work through first hand so that we can experience what we’ve been learning on ourselves and then take it to our clients as we are helping our clients heal from their own trauma as well.

So every week we have a class session where we learn about things. And then another day in the week we have our own processing calls with the coach where we can process through anything that we want to so that we can heal from our own trauma, whether it’s with our own relationship that we bring or just anything that we want to be coached on as well. So I’ve been working through some of my own shit on these processing calls and whoa, some stuff has been coming up that I really hadn’t been making space for and really didn’t have a voice to be heard that needed to be heard. So as I’ve been going and working on these processing calls with my coach, I have been able to open and make space for things that needed to come forward and to be heard. I’m learning that sometimes with that trauma healing and opening up and allowing for, your body can get physically sick.

Now I don’t know if this is why I was sick for so long. I can’t say for sure. But I will say to be feeling down and sick and then recognize that I’m starting to feel a little, have a processing call and then like immediately get hit with another sickness, to me those dots are adding up in my head, of oh, I’ve got some things that are happening in my body to where my body is reconnecting with myself, my nervous system, my breathwork, my soul, my mind. All of it is coming together and part of that healing needed to be purging of whatever was held on in my past.

Now again, this is just a story that I’m telling myself but it makes sense to me and so I’m going to keep it. This isn’t everyone’s lived experience when it comes to trauma. When it comes to healing. When it comes to working through things. Sometimes we just get sick because we get sick, right. Sometimes that’s just what’s happening. But other times I think there is also an underlying layer that is making us sick and I think in my case that is what was happening. And it’s why I was you know kind of sick for longer than usual. And this kind of leads me into today’s topic which is healing from the trauma of divorce.

I want to give a disclaimer here that I am speaking of trauma as it relates to the impact certain events have had on your ability to regulate your nervous system. If you believe that you have deep seated trauma from abuse or if you believe that you have PTSD or maybe you’ve actually been clinically diagnosed with that or something else and you have not worked through this trauma with a therapist I highly recommend that you do that for yourself. It’s really important that you get the specialized care with a therapist that you need.

What I’m going to be teaching you about trauma of course can be used in conjunction with specialized trauma therapy and it can also help anyone who wants to learn to heal from their own trauma that isn’t so deep seated or isn’t PTSD right and just to get better at self regulating your emotional response and regulating your nervous system because that’s really what it comes down to.

So what is trauma? The definition that I find most useful of what trauma is, is from Bessel Van der Kolk who is a psychiatrist who focuses primarily on trauma healing. He says in his book The Body Keeps The Score that, "trauma is specifically an event that overwhelms the central nervous system, altering the way we process and recall memories. Trauma is not the story of something that happened back then. It's the current imprint of that pain, horror, and fear living inside people.

So I think what is really interesting about that definition by Van der Kolk is that when we think about something that happened in the past that is traumatic to us, that was a traumatic experience, that we are defining for ourselves as trauma. Or maybe we do not even recognize it as trauma yet, but it does affect our nervous system in a way that takes us back to that feeling that we had when that experience occurred. So it is like we are reexperiencing it in the moment and we may not even understand why. We may not have connected it to something in our past yet. But what is important is that it is happening currently again with whatever is going on around us in our experience. We can’t move past that because we are re-creating it inside her body, insider nervous system and it is like remembering that feeling and bring it back to the present. It is what we are feeling right now.

What we often think of when summonses have experienced trauma in the past is we think of a big major occurrence in our lives, like sexual abuse or, natural disasters, or disease or something like that but I also read understand that trauma can be caused by smaller events as well. And maybe these don’t seem small to you, but divorce, obviously. If you are experiencing this right now it is a big event. Right. It is to you possibly a big T trauma. Emotional abuse or the death of a pet, death of a family member, something like that. What might be traumatic to a lot of people may not be traumatic to others. So when it comes to trauma healing it’s coming to an understanding of you and your experience in relation to your nervous system, your mind and your body. Just because someone else wouldn’t define their experience as traumatic that doesn’t mean that it discounts your experience and vice versa.

So essentially we experience trauma which creates a disconnect from our self. And then when we are able to heal from trauma we, it’s almost like we are returning to our self; we are able to reconnect to our mind, body and breath. We reconnect to our intuition, to trusting ourself, to feeling more whole.

When we feel trapped in trauma, and often, like I said, we may not even recognize that we have experienced something traumatic. We may not even recognize what is happening but what is really going on is our nervous system is being triggered over and over again. And it can feel very difficult to move forward in our lives when this is happening. Because we stay locked in past belief systems but then we are paralyzed by a fear of what the future may hold. This can be especially true for women who are going through divorce. Like if we think about belief systems when it comes to marriage and family, right, we might be blocked and locked in a belief system of what a family is supposed to mean, what family is supposed to look like. We may be locked in a belief system about being more worthy if you’re in a relationship and a divorce means you are less worthy. We may be locked in a belief system about the capability to be an effective mother while providing for the family. While leaving the home to work, while having a job, any of those kinds of things. Or something else.

And so staying locked in the past by these belief systems that we have latched onto at some point in our life, and then being paralyzed by what the future might hold because we can’t let go of these belief systems but also because we don’t know what the future’s going to hold. That is a very scary place to be. And so when we can heal from our trauma we can let go of the past and start to dismantle those belief systems and we can open ourselves up to the possibility of what the future might hold. And what is most important about this is we really reconnect to what is going on in the present an opening ourselves up to what is.

And the goal for some may be to heal from this trauma may be just regulating their nervous system. Getting out of that flight, fright or freeze mode. Right. That way they are no longer going to feel trapped in the past or paralyzed by their future, and they are going to be able to focus on the present and the here and now full of curiosity, and openness, and acceptance and love of what is, of what is going on right now.

When I am working with my clients, there are four basic steps that we take when it comes to healing from trauma. Those four steps are:

1. Establish safety.

2. Emotional management.

3. Observe and deconstruct core beliefs and

4. Shifting into repetitive corrective experiences.

Now when I am working with my clients we do not always go in this order. I do not even usually say these four steps to my clients. Like okay today we are going to establish safety and then the next time we are going to work on emotional management and then we are going to observe and deconstruct core beliefs. Like I do not lay it out like that to my clients. We just really sit down and talk and understand what it feels like to be safe, how to process through emotions, talk about the core beliefs that they might be holding onto that are holding them back there keeping them stock and then shifting into these repetitive corrective experiences through how they are living their life and what is showing up for them and then correcting as we go.

And so they do not always even go in that order but for sure in my opinion the number one most important thing when it comes to healing from any kind of trauma, and I work on this with my clients first thing and then we always seem to go back to it over and over again because I find it to be so important, and that is establishing safety.

I want to talk about each of these just very briefly and just kind of give you a quick description of what each one really entails so that you have a better understanding of how these four steps, when they come together, really create a sense of healing from your trauma as you are able to work through and implement each one of them into your life.

So safety, like I said, I believe that is the most important thing. It’s the most important thing you can do when it comes to regulating your nervous system. It’s the most important thing you can do when it comes to reconnecting yourself with you. To me, this is why establishing safety is always number one. Now of course I am talking about physical safety but I am also talking about safety as your emotional safety. How you feel in your body and being able to re-create that for yourself in moments. And the reason why is no real learning or real growth or evolution of yourself will occur until safety is created. When your nervous system is constantly being bombarded and is constantly this regulated it is very difficult to move forward. It is very difficult to trust yourself. It is very difficult to tap into your intuition. It doesn’t mean you can’t do those things. Of course you can. But it is much harder to do when your nervous system is this regulated. It is constantly being bombarded. But when you feel safe in your nervous system feels calm and peaceful and in alignment you are able to step out of the flight, fight or freeze mode and make decisions from a clear headspace and make decisions from within your intuition rather than from fear or urgency. That is my safety is so important in my book.

Emotional regulation which is one of the other steps that I mentioned, this goes along with creating safety course but when I am talking about emotional regulation it is more about learning to process through your emotions. This is about observing what is happening in your body, opening up to it and then really allowing yourself to process through your emotions. Learning to allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you are feeling and not being afraid of it. Not thinking that you don’t know how to handle it. Emotional regulation is not something we are usually taught. I talk about this a lot on this podcast because I think it is really, really important and it is one of the things that in my opinion is the least talked about when it comes to emotions but the most important. Usually what is very natural for us and what we are usually taught to do when it comes to emotions is to avoid them, to resist them, to react to them instead of learning to open up to them, process through them, accept them. Once you can learn how to regulate your emotions, to manage them, to allow them, to process through them, that is when some real healing is going to begin to occur when it comes to your divorce trauma.

Another step is observing and deconstructing core beliefs is this is when you begin to learn and understand what some of those core beliefs are that you have. Then you get to question whether or not those are beliefs that you want to continue leading your life with. And these beliefs come from a variety of things that have shaped your life and this list includes but is not limited to the things that I am going to list here. And these include your family, school, religion, leaders, cultures, society, movies, TV, social media, books, so many other things that have led to and shaped your core beliefs. And some of them are serving you and some of them are not and many of them you may not even realize are holding you back or creating trauma or keeping you stuck and unable to move forward in your life.

And then once you start to observe them and deconstruct them that is when you are able to shift into repetitive corrective experiences. That means that you are learning new tools and you are implementing those tools. You are learning new lessons and you are implementing the things your learning into your life which is demonstrating shifts in who you are and how you show up and how you make decisions and trusting yourself and continuing to do all of this over and over and over again repetitively in creating a new life for yourself, in creating that healing that you want when it comes to you and your divorce.

When you have all four of these things working simultaneously this is when the magic of trauma healing occurs and you begin to feel whole again. You begin to feel interconnected with yourself again as a divorced woman.

If you’re listening to this podcast and you’re thinking, hmm, it’s interesting because I do feel stuck in my past. I am constantly thinking about the past and worrying about my past and then thinking about the future and it’s terrifying and I have no idea of the uncertainty. It’s so scary and you’re stuck in these emotions that are keeping you in the past and in the future and you are so disconnected from what is actually happening right now, that might mean that you’re experiencing trauma from your divorce.

The first thing I want to tell you is nothing is wrong with you if this is happening to you. This is very common for divorced women to experience this and feel this way. Every single one of my clients feel this way. I felt this way so nothing is wrong with you. Number one. And number two you don’t have to figure out how to heal all by yourself, all alone. Of course you have the steps. I just laid out the steps for you if you want to do it alone but I want you to know that you do not have to do it alone. There are so many people out there who are open and know how to guide you through this process and all you need to do is be open to finding the person that resonates with you the most to help you through. If you are open to having someone guide you through this healing process I would be honored to be that guide for you.

If you’re curious what this looks like then I want to invite you to schedule your free 30 minute consult with me. I want you to come with your questions. Find out what this might look like for you. Figure out if I am the right person for you. We will have a conversation and you can just ask me basically whatever you want. You can share some of your experience with me if you want. I can guide you through some grief processing if that is what you feel like you need. Sometimes what we need most is someone who has been in our shoes and knows the path to take and who will just be by her side every step of the way, guiding us in helping us. If that sounds like something you want and you are interested in finding out more about you can schedule your free consult with me by clicking a link in the show notes or you can go to my website, karinnelsconcoaching dot com and scheduler.

Trauma is real and I would say the majority of women who are going through a divorce are holding onto some kind of trauma whether they recognize it or not that needs to be healed from and it does not have to be scary and it does not have to mean something is wrong with you. It can just be a part of your journey and a part of your process and having someone to guide you through the steps and help you every step of the way may be exactly what you are looking for to help you as you go through this divorce string.

Alright my friends, thank you for listening. I love you for being here. And I will talk to you next week.

If you like what you’re learning on the podcast and you’re ready to create lasting change and results in your life then you need to be working 1:1 with Karin as your divorce coach. This is where we take everything you’re learning in the podcast and 10x it with implementation and weekly coaching where you start to see change in yourself and your life immediately. To find out more about how work exclusively with Karin go to . That’s www dot Karin nelson coaching dot com.

Thanks for listening. If this podcast episode agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow and give it a rating wherever you listen to podcasts. And for more details about how I can help you live an even better life than when you were married, make sure to check out the full show notes by clicking the link in the description.



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