Navigating Trauma: From Crisis to Healing

I was struggling in medical school. I knew it was going to be hard, like drinking water from a fire hydrant with all of the materials that needed to be absorbed, but the experience was beyond comprehension. My first go of it ended in disaster. It involved a cross-country move, and during finals week of my first semester, my daughter had an extremely dramatic presentation of type 1 diabetes. When I should have been writing exams, I was sitting in the ICU of the local children’s hospital all alone, watching my daughter connected to different machines functioning in place of what her body should have been doing.

A year later, I attempted my second try in a medical school that offered more support for a single mom with a child with sometimes complex medical needs. By then, writing exams became an excruciatingly painful event, I was struggling with my grades, and decided the stress of it all made counseling necessary.

Although seeking out a new counselor is something I have often found difficult, the counseling team on campus was warm and inviting, so I was able to carry through and have my first session. The session was memorable and good, but what vividly comes to mind regarding medical school and that round of counseling was being back outside after the session, calling my sister, and immediately blurting out to her the rhetorical question as to whether the damage done by our mother would ever stop.

I would love to share that was my last experience surrounding my childhood trauma and the emotional pain my mother inflicted when I was young, but what I have accepted is that there will likely always be experiences, such as the performance anxiety I uncovered and experienced in medical school that was a result of trying to avoid violence from my mother as a child (if I could only figure out how to be perfect, then she would love me). Regardless of our childhood experiences, they shaped who we are today and how we perceive the world. However, through therapy, I have come to a better understanding and developed the skills to navigate the occasional triggers so I more quickly adjust and recover.

If you resonate with my story or if you’re struggling with your own past trauma, know that you’re not alone. Counseling can provide the support and tools you need to navigate through challenging times. While based in Canada, I work with clients globally, offering compassionate counseling tailored to your unique needs. Reach out today and let’s start your journey towards healing and resilience.



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