Eternity’s Sunrise is an online community and magazine dedicated to helping survivors of trauma heal and integrate the trauma into their past. Eternity’s Sunrise is designed specifically for survivors of trauma; however, we also support loved ones of survivors. Sometimes loved ones experience a secondary trauma; this trauma is the result of knowing about the traumatic events of someone you love. Secondary trauma has also been seen in first responders (police, firefighters and EMTs).
Trauma is experienced in three main ways:
- It alters how you think and perceive the world
- It alters how you feel about yourself and the world
- It alters how your body reacts and responds
Eternity’s Sunrise offers many ways to assist survivors in processing and minimizing these reactions. We publish articles that introduce basic trauma education so you know that you are not alone or abnormal. We also publish articles and exercises that help you alter the way you think, feel and react. There are also many ways to share your story and interact with other survivors throughout the site.
Trauma will always be a part of your experiences, but it doesn’t need to remain center stage in your life. Our goal is to help you integrate the trauma into your past so you no longer experience it in the present moment. Moving the trauma into the past will make it more like a memory and decrease its power in your life. You are so much more than what has happened to you; you are more than the sum of your experiences. You are a whole person and you deserve to live a full life.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is any event, experience or series of experiences that negatively affects how we experience the world and how we see ourselves. Trauma is an overwhelming experience that remains present in our minds long after the event(s) occurred.
Therapists usually divide trauma into big-T trauma and little-t trauma. Examples of big-T traumas are child abuse, sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, natural disasters, war, a life-threatening illness and being the victim of a crime. Little-t traumas include neglect, divorce, being bullied or humiliated (i.e. experiencing homophobia, racism or sexism) and growing up in poverty. Survivors are often re-traumatized when they are not believed, when their trauma is minimized and when they are told to ‘forget about it’ or to ‘just move on’.
When we experience trauma, the body shuts down. This shutting down is our natural way of dealing with overwhelming stress; it happens to everyone. This is the evolutionary “fight, flight or freeze” reaction. It creates a hyper-aware and hyper-sensitive state in our bodies and our minds. This state is our way of protecting ourselves. In survivors who haven’t processed the trauma, the events remain in the present and we continue to experience it as if it has just happened. This forces the body continues to give the signal that it’s not safe – even after the actual danger has passed. These “unsafe” signals cause the survivor to be constantly hyper-vigilant. People typically turn to medication, drugs, food and alcohol to deal with these intense feelings. They are all temporary fixes and never address the real issues: putting the trauma into the past and getting the body functioning normally again.
Healing from trauma and thriving in life requires both a physical and emotional response. Survivors need to learn how to live within their body again and how to trust themselves and the world. We are your community. We offer inspirational stories, suggestions, encouragement and support.