What I have learned as a trauma survivor on vacation
Growing up with developmental trauma I enjoyed the idea of traveling more than traveling itself. Travel brings transitions, unpredictability, and unknowns, and each of those brings its own additional burden to an emotional system that is for trauma survivors already overloaded. No matter how perfect the vacation - and few come even close - the presence of those three factors together is certain to stir discomfort.
I wrote in an earlier blog about the importance of predictability and consistency for children’s development, and in a different blog about how this lives on in the form of special challenges for adults suffering from developmental trauma. Those blogs aren’t textbook knowledge for me – I write from my own life experience.
In order to sustain progress after trauma, it’s important to get rest and renewal. But getting there is not as simple as it sounds. To rest, the nervous system needs to be calm enough that we can experience and enjoy what’s here and now. Self-regulation is key for that to take place. Even after years of therapy and self-work, it requires ongoing effort to me, like other survivors, to maintain self-regulation.
Read blog on ETI Psychology Today Blog.