Responding to Traumatic Situations

Give Yourself Time

People are usually surprised that reactions to trauma last longer than they expect. It may take weeks, months, or years, to find a new balance or stability in your life, to find a way to reconstruct the fragments of your experience. Friends, family, and society in general may push you to "get over it" before you're ready. 

You may find yourself irritated at words like "healing", "closure", or "normal". Others may also prematurely encourage forgiveness of, compassion for, or understanding of the behavior of the perpetrator. Remind them that such responses are not helpful for your recovery right now. 

Each person recovers on his or her own time schedule. Respect your own reconstruction process.

Reach out to Others

Find others who can listen patiently. Some people may get through this period with the help and support of family and friends. Many people find that support groups, individual, or family counseling is helpful. 

Either way, the key is attachment - ask for help, support, understanding, and opportunities to talk.