Why You Can’t Love Yourself After Trauma

Hey there, friend. Let’s talk about something important: loving yourself after experiencing trauma. It’s a tough subject, but one that many of us can relate to on some level. Trauma can shake us to our core, leaving us feeling broken and lost. And in the aftermath, loving ourselves can seem like an impossible task. But why is that?

Understanding Trauma

First off, it’s essential to recognize that trauma affects everyone differently. What might be traumatic for one person might not be for another. It could be a car accident, the loss of a loved one, physical or emotional abuse, or any other deeply distressing event. No matter the cause, trauma can leave lasting scars on our minds and hearts.

The Vagueness of “Self-Love”

The term “self-love” is often misunderstood as indulging in self-care activities like bubble baths and burning candles. However, it goes deeper than that. It’s about nurturing a genuine connection with yourselfand understanding your own needs. After trauma, this connection can feel strained or even lost. 

Distorted Self-Perception

Another reason why loving ourselves after trauma is tough is because trauma messes with our sense of self-worth. When something awful happens, it can make us feel like we’re not good enough or that we somehow deserved what happened to us. These negative thoughts can start to take over, making it hard to believe that we’re deserving of love – even from ourselves.

Loss of Safety & Security

When something traumatic happens, it can shake us to our very core, and we lose the inherent sense of safety and security we once had in ourselves and the world. It’s like the ground beneath our feet suddenly disappears, leaving us feeling vulnerable and exposed. When we don’t feel safe, it’s hard to focus on loving ourselves. We’re too busy trying to survive, too afraid to let our guard down. 

Detachment as a Coping Mechanism

It’s common to develop coping mechanisms to deal with the pain of trauma. You might find yourself blaming yourself or shutting down your emotions as a shield from more hurt. But while those coping mechanisms might offer temporary protection, they also keep us stuck in a lonely and unhappy place, unable to move forward. Building a wall around your heart might keep the hurt out, but it also prevents you from opening up to the possibility of healing, growth, and self-love.

Remember, you are not defined by your trauma. Yes, it has left its mark on you, but it doesn’t have the power to dictate your worth or your future. You are resilient and capable of healing, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.

So, when you’re ready, here are some steps you can take towards learning to love yourself after trauma:

Steps Towards Self-Love

  1. Acknowledge the impact of the trauma on your life. This means allowing yourself to feel all the messy emotions that come with it – the anger, the sadness, the fear. It’s okay to not be okay. Give yourself permission to grieve and process what happened.
  1. Next, try to challenge those negative thoughts and beliefs that the trauma has planted in your mind. Replace them with more balanced and compassionate ones. For example, instead of telling yourself that you’re unlovable, remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments. Practice self-affirmations and remind yourself that you are worthy of love and kindness.
  1. Reach out for support when you need it. Whether it’s from friends, family, or a therapist, having someone to talk to can make a world of difference. You don’t have to go through this journey alone.
  1. Self-care is another vital aspect of learning to love yourself after trauma. This means taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it’s going for a walk in nature, practicing mindfulness, or indulging in a hobby you love.
  1. Lastly, be patient and kind with yourself. Healing from trauma is a process, and it’s okay to take things one step at a time. Celebrate your progress, no matter how small, and remember that it’s okay to have setbacks along the way. What matters is that you’re making an effort to love and care for yourself.

So, dear friend, if you’re struggling to love yourself after trauma, know that you’re not alone. It’s a journey that many of us are on. Remember to be gentle with yourself, practice self-compassion, and believe that healing is possible. You are worthy of love and happiness, no matter what you’ve been through.

Did this resonate with you? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and until next time, take care of yourself.


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