Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Trauma: Unraveling Truth and Reality
She arrives wearing baggy sweat pants and over sized shirts, and I know she is living out of the "truth" she has assigned to her sense of self. She is walking in what she believes is her truth. Actually, it isn't true that she is shameful or damaged goods. However, out of the reality of experiencing sexual trauma, she has developed a "truth" that directs the way she carries herself.
Truth and reality get confused, especially for the victim of trauma.
I define truth as the concepts and thoughts that move you closer to a sense of freedom, hope, purpose and destiny. Truth is about knowing the accuracy in spite of what the reality of events may tell you. Have you ever talked to a person who is color blind? He often experiences the color red as shades of gray. His reality is that ‘red’ is experienced as ‘gray’. The truth, however, is red is really a different color. His experience and therefore his reality does not have the power to change the color red to gray. The person with color blindness learns to distinguish the difference between the truth and his reality and often seeks help in coordinating his wardrobe.
I define reality as a state of affairs; something that exists independently of things concerning it. Reality is about knowing what has happened or is happening. Those events that just are.
Distinguishing between truth and reality can be difficult, but so important in untangling the impact of sexual trauma. Trauma happens and we tell ourselves something as a result - something that may not be truth even when it feels as if it is.
Consider completing this fill in the blank about something in your life:
Reflecting back on my life I can see that my reality consisted of: ______________________
Which caused me to believe that my truth is: _____________________________________________
______________________________________________________. But if I look deeper I can see
that the truth behind my reality is _____________________________________________________
and not ________________________________________________________________________.
Here is an example that might help you sort this out:
Reflecting back on my life I can see that my reality consisted of sexual trauma. Which caused me to believe that my truth is that I'm bad and shameful. But if I look deeper I can see that the truth behind my reality is that something bad happened to me and not that I am bad.
Once you untangle the reality and identify the truth, you make the decision to align your power away from the lie formed from trauma towards the truth that brings freedom!