Emotional scars are the painful or traumatic memories of the past that linger on even after that event has subsided. Being emotionally scarred by a grisly accident and abusive childhood can stick with you for years. It’s the undealt grief, pain, and anger which leaves you in turmoil. Having emotional scars affects your ability to process emotions in a normal way and can leave a long-term impact on your mental health. According to a study;
About 6 of every 10 men (or 60%) and 5 of every 10 women (or 50%) experience at least one traumatic event in their lives which can emotionally scar them.
Additionally, an emotionally scarred person can also become susceptible to so many physical and mental health anomalies. People who have emotional scars often don’t realize it at first because over the years it unconsciously co-exists with them.
What Causes Emotionally Scarring?
Here are a few contexts/scenarios that can change your life’s trajectory by emotionally scarring you;
- Being abandoned as a child by your biological or adoptive parents
- Getting sexually or physically abused
- Witnessing an accident or a catastrophic natural disaster
- Witnessing the death of a friend or close reactive
- Being raised in unsafe or violent circumstances
- Childhood trauma stemming from bullying
- The infidelity of a romantic partner or spouse
- Witnessing someone else being abused
Here’s more on emotional scars and how you can cope with them;
How Can I Cope With Emotional Scars?
Try Not To Follow Old Patterns
Some days are better, and some days aren’t. You’ll definitely commit some mistakes while you’re in the process of healing which is completely acceptable. But, going out of your way to stop yourself from following the same patterns can make this turn more fruitful. If alcohol consumption has affected this journey of healing in the past, then try being sober for a while. Take a short break from dating to work on your well-being if you’re haunted by a toxic relationship from the past. Staying stuck in a loop is never going to let you escape from your emotional scars. Create new boundaries for when you come across new people in your life. These boundaries will reduce your chances of facing the same struggles once again.
Forgive & Forget
You deserve the right to be petty and ruthless when it comes to the people who victimized you. It surely feels great to be disrespectful towards a guardian who was nothing but cruel towards you when you were way younger. But, not opting for forgiveness cannot come in handy if you’re trying to heal. A big chunk of the healing phase relies on how you perceive the past. Is it something that you want to let or is it something you want to coexist with in the future?
Try to forgive the person who wronged you for your own sake and not because you hold any empathy for them. Remind yourself that their negative energies do not deserve any inclusion in this healthy space you’re creating for yourself. You’re doing it all for yourself and not because you want to be stuck in the same loop of anger. Once you truly move on and forget about the matter it won’t hold that much impact whenever it’s brought up again.
Accept The Highs & Lows
Healing is a journey full of ups and downs. It’s a nonlinear process where one can be greeted with countless unexpected setbacks. That’s why it’s necessary to not expect too much from yourself. Don’t expect the process to be as smooth as it can get, because you’re only human at the end of the day. What’s necessary is your urge to stay dedicated to your goal. Follows the regulations you’ve set for yourself and don’t break the boundaries you’ve created for anyone.
You have to inherently believe that a minor setback won’t defeat you. Even when you feel your lowest, allow yourself the opportunity to grieve because you’ll come out of that negative zone once again. Thus, it’s important that you wholeheartedly believe that healing from emotional scars is going to be an imperfect journey, featuring both bad and good days.
Opt For Detachment If It’s Necessary
Healing becomes quite difficult when the ones responsible for your emotional scars are still around you. Emotional scarring resulting from extreme scenarios requires extreme preventive measures. One of these preventive measures is opting for detachment instead of intermingling with the ones that have hurt. For instance; someone who’s been sexually or physically abusive towards you multiple times doesn’t deserve the love you have to offer.
Even if you somehow find a way to forgive their actions, being around them becomes a huge hurdle in your healing process. There’s even a possibility that they’ll return to their old ways and you’ll suffer the consequences once again. This disrupts the healing process and makes you susceptible to more emotional scarring. Give yourself the time to let go of such relatives and friends because they’re turning your world upside down instead of becoming a positive influence in your life.
Take Your Time To Reinvent Yourself
Emotional scars whether noticeable or not, impact your entire well-being. It can alter your personality and sometimes makes you hate the things you once used to love. Being haunted by a specific event or memory can be life-changing. So, instead of trying to divert your mind by becoming busier, take some time off. You’re bound to shut down after overworking yourself to your core. If we can take our days off to heal from a physical injury, why not do the same for an emotional one.
This is the phase of relearning how to love yourself once again and identify the triggers that are pushing you towards doom. Additionally, it can give you the time to strategize a long-term plan for healing. Surround yourself with the ones that are truly supportive in this journey. Take your time to mourn the loss of the person you once used to be. Metaphorically, you’re only shedding your cocoon to transform into a much more emotionally grounded and less traumatized person.
Become More In-Tuned With Yourself
Pay attention to the way you act because before you heal, you need to understand what’s causing you to act up. For instance; why do you turn into a cold-hearted individual when greeted with genuine love? Your mistrust for anyone around you can be a negative pattern you’ve been holding on to for years. You might be pushing away your friends and family because you’ve been abandoned by your biological guardians. Consequently, the experience has left you with emotional scars that now impact your ability to trust and bond with others.
Noticing these behavioral patterns, creating a timeline, and asking yourself questions about them can aid in investigating the main cause. Call yourself out whenever you find yourself following the same steps you’ve been trying not to follow. Set gentle reminders for yourself that remind you; you’re worth every ounce of love you’re getting and it’s not suspicious at all.
Keeping Secrets Rarely Helps
Suffering in silence is beyond painful. If you’re not sharing your struggles with a close confidant you might be indirectly letting it all out through your anger or emotional meltdowns. The struggle of hiding that there’s something wrong with you indicates a lack of acceptance on your own end. The bonds you consider most intimate deserve the chance to know that things might not be as fine as they seem.
For instance; if you struggle with the trauma stemming from your childhood, talking to your partner can be greatly helpful. That’s because now your partner will have a reason to understand why you’ve been feeling low. It allows your partner to adjust matters and conversations in a way that favors you. Additionally, it ends the stigma around emotional well-being and mental health. Because who knows, someone else around you could be struggling with the same thing? Sharing how you feel with someone who can be truly trusted usually feels like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders so why not give it a shot?
You won’t recover from anything during the scale of a few days or weeks. Emotional scars can often take years to subside even with the right kind of emotional and professional support. This is why it’s necessary to start with small goals. Don’t force yourself to do something over the top just to prove a point to yourself or to someone else. You’d have to take some hard steps and get out of the safe zone you’ve created for yourself one day. But, until that day comes, take it one day at a time.
For instance; if your emotional scars have affected your dating rituals you don’t have to go out and move in with the first person you date, just to prove a point to yourself. This usually doesn’t indicate that you’ve healed. Instead, it seems more like a desperate effort to prove something to yourself. You’ve got to be persistent but you need to take your time. Set smaller goals that would be more accessible and won’t push you towards having a full-blown breakdown. Consequently, you’ll be less likely to lose hope when one thing goes awry.
Counseling/Therapy Can Do Wonders
Perhaps your fear of commitment results from having emotional scarring caused by a previous partner. Some people, despite being utterly in love with their partner, can’t fathom the idea of having a long-term relationship merely because they’re so traumatized from past relationships. Trying couple’s counseling and working on these issues with your partner under the supervision of a professional can really turn your life around.
A counselor can suggest separate therapy sessions where you can target the root cause behind your emotional scars and consequently, revitalize your relationship with your partner. Not attending therapy for emotional scars leaves you with a sense of sorrow for years on. People pass on these traumas through generations and doom their chances of having a normal life. Undealt emotional scars can take an even lethal form in the form of depression and can make you susceptible to insomnia. Thus forth, having a reality check with your counselor can be the only way of discreetly removing the problem from its very roots.
Stop Blaming Yourself
It’s so easy to be cruel to yourself. Self-criticism takes up a huge chunk of our life. It begins from the very moment we wake up, looks in the mirror, and criticize our looks from the get-go. It’s easy to blame yourself for the mistakes you made which is why most people that are haunted by their past feel like they’re their own wrongdoers. For instance; someone who’s escaping an abusive marriage might require some time to accept the fact that she’s not the one who was in the wrong.
A survivor in that sensitive stage might go as far as blaming themselves for their plight just because they willingly chose to marry their abuser. So, before you proceed any further, be a little kinder to yourself. Forgive yourself for anything that you might or might not have done wrong. The past is gone and the future holds so many possibilities. Perhaps one day you’ll be able to look back and see you should’ve been more appreciative of the person you used to be.
Around this time be a little patient with yourself. Take your time to keep track of your journey through journaling. So, whenever you find yourself lacking the courage to proceed, you can always turn some pages back and see how far you’ve come. Encourage others to seek help if they’re fending for a way out of a dangerous loop of emotional turmoil. There’s a long list of online discourse panels and mediums that can connect you to people that have had similar emotional scars. Sharing the same history can make you feel more supported. Furthermore, who knows it might be enough to help you understand that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.