The aftershocks of divorce can be intense. Whether you thought you wanted the divorce or never wanted it, the reality is, it will affect you. The good news is that what you are feeling doesn’t have to be permanent. It is possible to overcome divorce trauma.
What is Divorce Trauma?
Merriam-Webster defines trauma as “a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time.” Divorce can definitely fall under the umbrella of traumatic events, especially if it was unexpected or you were betrayed. The undoing of your marriage could have left you confused, shocked, feeling unimportant or lost. If there are children involved or other legal issues that tie you to your former spouse, seeing them or having to deal with them could trigger those emotional and physical effects of your divorce trauma.
Signs Your Divorce Left You Traumatized
Some of the signs to watch for that would suggest you are dealing with more than simple grief would include any of the following:
- Inability to focus on work tasks
- Thinking only about the divorce
- Feeling hopeless
- Difficulty eating resulting in weight loss
In addition to counseling, you could take some proactive steps to help your healing process. Consider joining a support group. Learn breathing techniques when you feel overwhelmed. Talking to family or friends for emotional support may be an option. As always, focus on self-care.
Your Child & Divorce
Whether a divorce is amicable or full of hostility, children are always affected. The safety of your child’s home has been compromised. All they knew has been blown apart leaving shrapnel of trauma in their tiny mind now full of questions and doubt. Through the use of play therapy for trauma, a child therapist can help your child recover from this broken situation.
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people say, “Kids are resilient. They’ll be fine.” Although it is true that kids do have an innate ability to adapt better than adults, it does not mean they are immune to the effects of trauma. A child may have difficulty expressing their emotions. In these cases, it is important to recognize behaviors that could indicate symptoms of the trauma they have experienced. The list below outlines only a few signs and symptoms that could indicate that it’s time for you to meet with a child therapist.
- Changes in sleep patterns.
- A good student who is now receiving failing grades.
- Increased anger and/or fighting.
- Flashbacks or nightmares of parents fighting.
- Hesitancy to enter the house because they relive abuse they have seen or hurtful words their mom and dad yelled at each other.
- Blaming themselves for the divorce.
- Experimenting with substances or substance abuse.
PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is not uncommon, especially when a child heard fighting or saw abuse. Play therapy for trauma is a proven effective method to help children heal from the devastating effects they are experiencing. Children struggle the most within the first two years of divorce. We have skilled child therapists ready to help through play therapy and other methods. We do all we can to ensure a path to healing at Garrett while working through their feelings and emotions.
Find Healing With Divorce Trauma Experts at Garrett Counseling
The ideas listed above are just a few suggestions you could use as a starting point to begin the journey to improving your emotional wellbeing. If you are struggling with overcoming divorce trauma, Garrett invites you to schedule an appointment by calling our compassionate professionals at (256) 239-5662 or submitting your request here. No one should have to deal with trauma alone. Give us a call or reach out today and let us help you.