Post Traumatic Stress Fatigue
Updated: Nov 19
Trauma doesn't have to be a life sentence
"PTSD is a whole-body tragedy, an integral human event of enormous proportions with massive repercussions"
― Susan Pease Banitt
"There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds."
― Laurel K. Hamilton, 'Mistral's Kiss'
The very real focus of my work for a long time now has been on healing trauma.
The very deep trauma of what I call spiritual warfare, with its many faces — spiritual, racial, religious or sexual warfare.
This includes the emotional, psychological, psychic and often physical and sexual damage experienced by both cult and/or warfare survivors.
Whether the torture and torment is perpetrated by a violent religious cult, terrorist war, cold war, the horrors of domestic violence, assault or street gangs — they all bear the unmistakable hallmark of severe human suffering.
And the real tragedy is always the human fallout. The centuries of suffering have left such an indelible mark on humanity that it’s going to take some pretty intensive work to get to the heart of the matter — to the very real healing.
This planet needs heart surgery. And even soul surgery. To uproot the infection of fear and bring in another higher reality is not going to be easy work. And obviously the sociopaths and warmongering psychopaths are not going to pack up and leave the planet, however we can still do the work.
My belief is that humanity cannot evolve without this healing work being done.
Children’s drawing from Darfur
"Unlike other forms of psychological disorders, the core issue in trauma is reality.”
― Bessel A. van der Kolk, "Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body and Society"
Poem by concentration camp survivor
So, can the deepest exhaustion come after a long period of stress has passed?
The answer is YES!
Accumulated stress after multiple traumatic events can leave your adrenals seriously burnt out and severe fatigue at a chronic all-time high.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is very real, and those who’ve finally found some kind of safety and sanctuary after living through extensive spiritual abuse and trauma often experience serious fatigue, a kind of exhaustion that just won’t seem go away.
“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.”
― Danielle Bernock, Emerging with Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain and the Love That Heals
They ask ‘what’s happening to me?’
Why am I so terribly exhausted? Is there something very wrong with me?’
The answer is NO!
There’s nothing wrong with you that time and tender loving self-care can’t heal, but seek medical help if you do feel you need it.
Let yourself rest, recover and regenerate as you rebuild your life. You will be ok.
Etched into a wall at Auschwitz Concentration Camp
"After a traumatic experience, the human system of self-preservation seems to go onto permanent alert, as if the danger might return at any moment.”
― Judith Lewis Herman, 'Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence-From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror'
You can get through this.
Let me say that, and reassure you. You’re a whole lot stronger than you think.
And yes I do know you’ve been through more than anyone should ever have to bear.
There are some in the world who will try to deny and invalidate the truth of the very real and terrifying abuse you’ve lived through.
Photo · Anh Nguyen · Unsplash
Look for those who do understand, who do believe you, and who may even identify in some ways with all you’ve been through.
And who respect you and all that you are.
If you’re needing therapeutic support for your recovery, there are those of us who really do understand. We get it on a deeply visceral level — that fiercely intense experiential understanding.
As well as on a psychological and spiritual level — we’ve been there too, in some of those places you’ve been in.
So when looking for good counsel, seek out those who’ve also survived severe trauma, and have the compassion, skills and training you may want to connect with.
Copyright 2018/2020 © Julie Von Nonveiller Cairnes. All rights reserved.
I first published this in MEDIUM on May 17, 2019 and on my prior website in 2018