From Victim to Victor: How To Recover From Your Trauma

by GEM Magazine / Sep 16, 2015 / Comments

Most of my days consist of waking up early for work, attending class then a myriad of errands before rushing home to complete homework. It usually ends with me praying I sleep through the night without the unwelcomed interruption of a hellish nightmare, paranormal visitor or my anxious insomnia.

This day was different. As I stood, impeccably dressed, clinging helplessly to a perfect head of purple broccoli, I became paralyzed in fear. 

There was that smell; deliciously musky and horrifying, like a perfume my step-grandmother used to give me as a gift. Before I knew it, I was cowering in the produce section, taken instantly back to that moment...

I was less than 6 years old the first time I’d been exposed to sexual misconduct.

Before now it had been a pleasantly distant memory that only plagued me in the wee hours of the morning, or on the “rough days” when the memories insisted on staking their claim in my mental and emotional real estate.

This smell was her smell. The smell I’d desperately tried to scrub from my skin and hair. The smell that had covertly engrained itself into my memories.

I thought I was recovered, but I had only survived.

I realized that the distance I’d so anxiously placed between myself and the horror of my past was just that.

I’d let the pain of my past air out and while it had become easier to acknowledge, I hadn’t dealt with anything. 

I needed to be active, present and engaged in the recovery of what those experiences took from me.

My response in that store proved that I was only positioning myself to victimization, again.

After that breakdown, I decided I refused to be controlled by my trauma. 

I began to open up about the experiences I’d survived.

If I wanted to recover, I had some work to do.

To aid me on my journey to recovery, I have used a technique called A.I.R. (Acknowledge. Inventory. Release).

Let’s get you some fresh A.I.R;


- It happened. It sucked. It was so hard and so rough, but you know what? You survived! You’re still here! That dirt didn’t define you it but it can be used to enrich you and intensify you and your legacy. It can and will make you better every single day. 

You’re a fighter because you had to get into the ring. You’re a conqueror because you went on past the last round. You’re scrappy because you now know your worth.

- Take a deep breath and acknowledge this pain. It hurts. It really hurts. So scream, yell, holler, yelp, hold yourself (or let someone who truly loves and supports you) as it oozes out.

Seek professional help/support if needed for this step, then take that power back. 

It’s no longer your kryptonite. Ever. Again.


- Engage in how you feel. Be aware, write it down, take note, express open and honestly what hurts and why. I know this part may seem obvious and unnecessary, but we often focus so much on survival that we do not permit ourselves the opportunity to feel. 

We all can control our responses but we often cannot control our feelings. Instead we lock them away, conceal or ignore them, resulting in emotional breakdowns.

Imagine yourself laying in a large bath and acknowledge those feelings as they float by and wash over you, then prepare to let them all drain from you. 

Ask yourself why does it hurt?

Express how it makes/made you feel.

Do you carry fears now? 

What are your fears?

What makes you feel fearful? Certain environments? Certain people? Certain smells?

- Be gentle with yourself, this isn’t easy. It will take time and work, and you are completely worth every effort. 

Maybe you didn’t deserve it, maybe it could’ve happened differently, but do not blame yourself. Be kind, be nurturing, be understanding, be honest and again... BE GENTLE.


- Now see and feel all that has occurred, take a good long farewell look and then realize that it is all behind you. You moved past it, you survived and made it through, scars and all. More splendid and magnificent than before. 

You carry it because there is still an intravenous connection to it. It's engrained itself into your existence. Maybe it still has some control, but now it’s time to cut the cord. 

That situation was only an instant in the eternality of wonderment and brilliance that is you.

There is far more out there for us.

And as we work to clear the corners of ourselves, there is precious room being made for our ever-increasing greatness, both inside and out.

By practicing AIR and remembering all the sweetness and goodness in this life, we can let it heal and soothe us, endlessly cultivating our continuous recovery. 

We are all recovered. We are all recovering.

By Tynesia Evans

Tynesia (tie-knee-see-uh) is a post graduate, premedical student and mentor-in-training with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She holds an MPH from Kaplan University and specializes in whole person health restoration and lifestyle detoxification. Tynesia is in the process of launching her health and wellness practice BrilliantlyMade©, specializing in intuitive eating, healing emotional hunger and restoration/cultivation of customized lifestyle health and wealth. Tynesia is a radiant survivor who is committed to inspiring and empowering others to live exclusively in the fullness of their true and boundless brilliance.

Coming soon -

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