Why Your Trauma Matters and What To Do About It

Why Your Trauma Matters and What To Do About It



Everyone is affected by trauma. It’s easy to fall into the comparing game and belittle our pain when we hear the reports of tragedies like shootings, plane crashes, and weather disasters. But that’s not wise. Those things are indeed traumatic and your trauma matters too.

If you don’t do something about it, you’ll be sorry.

So I’m going to tell you why YOUR trauma matters and what YOU can do about it.

Let’s start with defining trauma.

How do you define trauma? Do you define it by circumstances or by effects?

I asked a group of people How would you define trauma? and got some pretty amazing results.


What is trauma?

  • Nightmares that get scarred onto your mind, body, and soul.
  • Something that can hide in us and suddenly appear just long enough to mess us up.
  • Something that changes the footprint of your life.
  • Something painful/devastating/disappointing that changes you forever and requires a process to “get through”
  • A deep imprint on our soul…the influences can overtake our lives and is healed by the hand of God.
  • A catastrophic event that highjacks your brain and only God can heal it.
  • Sudden exposure to tragedy leaving it etched in your minds-eye.
  • Anything that shocks you deeply.
  • Any event that leaves a permanent bruise on your body, brain or soul, healed only by divine intervention.
  • Any event in your life that traumatized you. No matter what anyone else says about it!


All those point to the profound effect on the person.

None of them measure the pain by another.

That tells me, people instinctively know that trauma is personal. However, that’s not enough.

Knowing it when someone asks you is different than addressing it in your own life.

People instinctively know that trauma is personal. However, that’s not enough. Click To Tweet


Why your trauma matters

Trauma has side effects.

These will attempt to wreak havoc in your life.

Why Your Trauma Matters and What To Do About It

We all walk through life experiences differently. We have different perceptions, perspectives, and thresholds for pain and suffering.

What one person can endure may leave another person emotionally wasted.

There’s no shame in that.

But shame will show up.

Shame will compare their trauma with your trauma saying you have no right to feel that way.

Shame will say God is mad at you and you did something to deserve it.

Shame lies.

Shame lies Click To Tweet

The trauma that lives inside you has nothing to do with how others see it and no matter what happened – God didn’t do it to you.

Your trauma matters because you’re the only one who can do something about it.

Your trauma matters because you’re the only one who can do something about it. Click To Tweet

Do you find yourself on the chart above?

Have you experienced being triggered into reliving a trauma?

Do you have internal screaming going on?

You don’t have to keep living like that.


Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. When someone enters the pain and hears the screams healing can begin. ― Danielle BernockEmerging with Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, and the Love That Heals


What to do about it

I won’t lie to you—it takes work but it’s worth it.

The pain, the anguish and triggers trauma plants in us require validation and compassion or they will never heal.

  • Don’t measure it—validate it.
  • Don’t minimize it.
  • Call it what it is—a trauma.

You can’t heal what you don’t identify.

Why Your Trauma Matters and What To Do About It
  • Process your feelings.
  • Identify what trauma is saying—talk back.

Trauma silently talks to us.

Trauma silently talks to us. Click To Tweet

Learning this was eye-opening to me. I hadn’t been aware that trauma had built a negative mindset that whispered to me with every trigger.

All I knew was the basket case I turned into and the shame that followed over my seemingly unwarranted reaction (my measurement).

I had to discover this invisible mindset and find the words that would silence the voice of trauma. It took a lot of process. The process I went through the first time is in chapter eight of my book.

Talking back to the trauma when I got triggered changed my life. Words are powerful. It took time to bring results but every time I talked back I gained ground.

  • Dealing with trauma can cause triggers—don’t do it alone.
  • Get help—there’s no shame in asking for help.

We need someone to enter our pain with us. To validate the trauma along with us. This can be a trusted friend, a support group or a professional counselor. I’ve received help from all three.

Do you have the tendency to diminish your value? I did.

Shame says we’re not worthy of the love and compassion needed to heal.

Shame lies.

Dealing with trauma can cause triggers—don’t do it alone. Click To Tweet


What now?

You are worthy because Love says so – see here.

Dare to decide to believe Him.

  • Decide you’re worth the effort.
  • Decide you’re worthy of being loved into wholeness.
  • Let my story encourage you. Get a copy here.
  • Have you addressed trauma in your life already? Share what helped you.

If my words aren’t helping and shame or pain has you considering ending it all please call 1-800-273-8255


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17 thoughts on “Why Your Trauma Matters and What To Do About It

  1. Your words spoke to me. The chart you shared above is shocking, but I understand it. Trauma can leave a lot of pain in its toxic wake. There is no shame in getting help. First step is admitting and moving forward to heal. Great post to have been a part of Danielle Thank you.

    1. I’m glad to hear it spoke to you, John.
      It’s important for people to see there are side effects. Like Jaime had shared the deteriorating of relationships. Yes trauma leaves a lot of pain in its wake. The worst is the unseen. Validation is so important. When we don’t feel alone or shamed we can move forward.
      Thank you for participating!

        1. Me too. Realizing it is the first step to heal. And then we can begin the process.
          Thanks for sharing. #healinghappenstogether

  2. One person’s bad day is another person’s trauma – and it all has to do with how it impacts us. I love the thoughts in here, Danielle. I knew that trauma survivors generally had tougher lives, but that graphic really opened my eyes.

    1. Thank you, Teresa. I’m glad the graphic was helpful for you. The more we understand, the better we can love one another.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Thanks for this piece Danielle.

    I’ll add a few thoughts, too?

    Deep trauma paralyzes the soul. It can “freeze” you into a deep space within yourself, where no one sees/knows you, and you function with just a shadow or a faint semblance of yourself. If the trauma didn’t come from an outwardly recognizable event or occurrence (e.g. rape, murder, war, etc) and/or has close relational ties, it can be years and years before you begin to thaw out, even a wee bit, so as to voice the word ‘trauma’ and eventually reach out for beginning help.

    A “frozen in” person can’t do much of anything!

    An article that has helped me understand why talking, using words, can be IMPOSSIBLE for some trauma sufferers, is a book review, Bar-On D.’s “The indescribable and the Undiscussable”. This addresses why even some common forms of therapy simply can’t work for a deeply traumatized person.


    Thanks for being one voice that’s bringing this conversation out into the open. Badly needed, especially in the Church. Bravo!

    1. Thank you for sharing all that Naomi!
      It’s more validation that #Traumaispersonal and that what works for one might not work for another.

      Thank you for sharing that link. I just read an article this morning with more validation and I commented there similar to how you commented here.

      YES we need this said.
      Here is the article I read this morning. One of the many points in it that I like is when she talks about timing. http://www.incourage.me/2017/10/worried-depressed-doesnt-mean-faith-flawed.html

  4. Your words “shame lies” hit the nail on the head for me. Our trauma causes us to lose sight of the fact that we are all worthy of love. I agree that words are powerful and they can silence the screams from the voice of trauma.

    1. Shame is so destructive. It’s so important for us to remember our value and how deeply loved we are. Thank you for sharing your heart. 💞

  5. I have been traumatized from the time I was young. One thing after another. I remember one visit with a counselor when I was in my 30’s. She asked me what I wanted and I answered. “I want my pain to stop.” And she replied, “God never promised he would stop our pain. What he did promise is that he would be with us in our pain.” And I have found this to be true.

    And while some of those buttons get pressed and I relive some of the past, I have the confidence of knowing that God is right there. Acknowledging is the first step. Being willing to walk into it, is another. Great article, Danielle. It will resonate with many.

    1. I understand, Anne. I have been too.
      I’ve also had a not so helpful counselor. Part of what he said helped and part of what he said kept me stuck. I love the counselor I have now.

      I agree with your counselor that God is with us in the pain. I was struggling with the truth of this just the other day as I witnessed family members going through such painful things. My heart questioned What good is it that He’s with us? Why does it comfort us that He’s there? and I believe He answered me. He said Life is deeper than circumstances and I saw how it’s in the connection – that’s where we really live. I still have so many questions but He helps me trust in spite of them.

      I disagree with your counselor that he won’t make the pain stop – I believe He can heal it. The healing is not magical, easy or quick – just possible. And there is the proper timing too like in this article on the website incourage. I’m so thankful that things that used to leave me emotionally wasted no longer have power over me. There is a sadness but no longer devastating pain.

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to write such a thoughtful reply. #healinghappenstogether

  6. Very well stated, and the intro to this post resonated with me as well. There’s definitely been times when I discounted how I felt about a problem or felt embarrassed talking about it because I thought that it would be insulting to people suffering from bigger problems. Your analogy, though, is spot on–just as not finishing your supper has no direct impact on starving children, the same is true for suffering. It’s not a zero-sum game.

    1. Thank you, Kate. When I first penned the line “Trauma is personal” I still felt that hesitation but pressed though believing in its truth. Since then I’ve been blown away by the amount of people it has resonated with. And the more I talk with people the bolder I’ve become. I want to help others get the inner freedom I’ve found.
      Thank you for validating my analogy. It came to me as an aha moment just yesterday. Revelations like that change our lives. Once we see things differently we can proceed with the new mindset.
      Thank you for reading and sharing here. Your words will help many others.

  7. Danielle,

    Yes, shame is the BIG LIAR. You have no worth. You’re not good enough. All lies.
    Hats off for closing with another life buoy: “If my words aren’t helping and shame or pain has you considering ending it all please call 1-800-273-8255.”

    Three additional tools for bolstering the mind, body & soul in times of trauma, are: (1) Exercise (so often neglected by individuals, physicians, therapists, patients.) Can use the word “Fitness” to go with the 4F’s.
    (2) Writing as healing. Purposeful writing. Here’s an excellent book on the topic by Louise DeSalvo, Writing as a way of healing. http://amzn.to/2z6sOBl Use the writing to build a sturdy ladder out of the dark pit of hopelessness and despair.
    (3) Food (a sixth “F”) Often this becomes our “safe place.” Carb and sugar binges. Unfortunately, the latter destroys our ability to battle the emotional & physical onslaught of the trauma. Eating clean can help. Easy? No. Then again, life is not easy.

    Thanks for the post, Danielle!

Please share your thoughts!