top of page

Unhealed Trauma is NOT an Excuse

Identify your triggers. You need to know them in and out. Triggers don’t go away, but we learn to control how we respond to them instead of allowing them to control us.

Trauma is defined as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. This is such an open-ended definition, meaning that many of us will experience many different traumas, on many different levels, in various ways. No trauma is the same nor would the same traumatic experience affect two people in the exact same way. We all have a different bandwidth for the things that we can handle. We’re on different levels with our mental health and the work that we’ve put in there. And we also process differently. However, there is one commonality that we can’t escape and that is we are all bound to face trauma in our lifetimes, most people more than once.

Our bodies (and minds if you ask me) subconsciously develop self-protecting mechanisms to fight off the risk of these happening to us again. This is not wholly a bad thing. However, if you only rely on your subconscious to respond to the trauma that you’ve faced, you are not actually dealing with it. Healing is intentional. You don’t just get to wake up healed and freed of past traumas that have captivated you physically, mentally and emotionally. I wish you could because things would’ve been easier for me. LOL

That leads me to a video that I saw recently on IG. It was a woman saying something to the effect of “shout out to those of us trauma survivors who didn’t become stronger, who are still triggered by certain words and actions due to our trauma, who still cry at the drop of a dime, we are not superheroes, we are survivors.” The comments were filled with “yeeeesss sis” “shoutout to us victims” “yeesss certain words still make me cry 10 years later.” I vehemently reject that.

Making a conscious decision to allow your trauma to control you is not to be celebrated in my opinion. This is not for the people who have not YET found their strength. Everyone’s timeline is different. However, to sit in that space as a celebratory opportunity is dangerous. How about sis, shoutout to you for surviving, and I am here to hold your hand when you are ready to overcome. When you are ready to take your life back, I’ll walk through it with you. When you are ready to talk, I will listen. When you are ready to see a therapist, I will help you research. But what I will not do is celebrate being stagnant and emotionally unstable because you are not ready to do the work.

When I was a child, if I would walk into a room that my mom was in unannounced, she would say “get out you stupid bitch!” Sometimes she would tell me to “shut my dumb ass up” if I tried to speak about anything or threaten to “beat me like a bitch on the streets.” My subconscious response to that was to be smart so that nobody could ever call me stupid again. I worked very hard at being the top of my class all through grade school. I think I graduated #3 from my private school in the 8th grade. I got to high school and I took all top honors classes….AP and IB. I graduated among the top SAT scores in the school and we were all celebrated with a banquet, award, and free prom ticket.

I worked so hard at that, but I never did the real work to heal. The objective was to not give space for anyone to be able to call me stupid. However, that trauma showed back up anytime someone called me stupid, dumb or a bitch. Those were fighting words to me. In high school and college you could get away with that. However, my grown self cannot go around fighting people over words and then blame it on childhood trauma. That’s not how any of this works. I also cannot be so emotionally unbalanced that I fall apart at the remanence of aggression. People are aggressive and can be very mean. Do I allow them to control me because I haven’t done the self-work required for healing?

Life is brutal man. Allowing those areas of your life to remain unhealed will cause you so much more pain and trauma. Have you ever met a 50-year-old that still sits in victimhood from childhood trauma? It is the most draining thing ever. These people typically don’t take accountability for anything because it all goes back to what mama did when they were 12. I’m not making light of it because that stuff can really damage you. But at 50 you look ridiculous telling anyone that you can’t keep a job or pay your own bills because of what your mom did. Nobody really cares if we’re being honest.

The other dangerous thing about this is that unhealed victims tend to continue the victimization cycle. If we take R. Kelly for instance, his trauma was very much real and I feel bad for what happened to him. However, once you decide not to heal and instead inflict the same pain on others, I lose all empathy. Unhealed trauma is not an excuse to abuse. Do not accept it from your spouse because of their trauma. Do not accept if from your parents because of their trauma. Do not accept it from your friends because of their trauma. Most importantly, please do not pass it down to your children because of your own trauma.

Some people think that I allow my children to speak too freely. That won’t ever be changing so deal with it. My children are not just “allowed” but encouraged to speak their minds freely. They’re encouraged to think for themselves. They’re encourage to have their own perspectives and think critically enough to defend their position, whether I agree with it or not. Let me tell you, an 8 and 6 year old have been persuasive enough to change my mind! Now y’all know, my mind is not easily changed, but the children are brilliant I tell ya! Lol Listen to your children more, I promise you will be in awe.

A lot us come from the “because I said so” generation where kids didn’t have a voice. Now don’t get me wrong, once I hear them out, I still make the final decision (with their dad), and at that point it becomes because I said so, if they can’t let it go! LOL But they will never be in any trouble for challenging me respectfully. This is from the inner child in me not allowed to express. I light up seeing them being their authentic selves so freely and so young. I see the confidence building up in them even when we don’t agree but they can understand why we’ve made the decision that we did. Most of all, they fully KNOW that they are loved unconditionally by both of their parents, and that is just something that I never had.

Our generation is breaking so many curses. Many of us are the first to graduate college, first homeowners in our family, first to have investment portfolios, first business owners, etc. Let me tell you, heavy is the crown! But we were built for this. The other thing many of us are first at is seeking therapy, and finally unpacking generations of trauma. A lot of it was passed from great-grandparents, down to grands, down to parents, and then to us. Many of us have taken the charge and responded with “the buck stops here!”

I’m going to share with you how I’ve healed from trauma. Please note, I am not a therapist or counselor. I am just someone who has been through a LOT in life, and had to figure things out on my own.

  1. Accept the things that have occurred for exactly what they are. Accept that it is NOT your fault. But also accept that it’s up to you to pull yourself out of it. Your healing is your responsibility.

  2. Identify your triggers. You need to know them in and out. Triggers don’t go away, but we learn to control how we respond to them instead of allowing them to control us.

  3. Seek peace and strength from within. I promise you, you’re already equipped with every single thing that you need. You don’t need a therapist or a life coach to give you the answers because you already have them. However, some people just need the guidance for how to tap into it. Therapists that I know agree with me.

  4. Make a plan for how you will respond to those triggers, and then practice it! That may sound crazy but you have to work at it. It won’t be overnight.

  5. Forgive yourself when you fall off of your own plan. Show yourself grace. It will happen. Just take a moment to process what went wrong, dust it off, and jump back in to try again.

  6. Surround yourself with people who understand you, be it close friends with similar trauma or support groups. I really enjoy my support groups for motherless women. I know there are plenty of cancer survivors, domestic abuse survivors, and other groups that support so many. It reminds you that you aren’t in it alone.

Unfortunately we can’t rid ourselves from our trauma. We can’t remove the triggers or avoid them for life. This will be a lifelong journey. All you have to do is commit to the process, and put one foot in front of the other. Don’t crawl up and die. We need you. We need your story. We’re rooting for you!

From One T.U.F.F. Chick to Another,

Michelle L.


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page