Moving Beyond Trauma to Fight for What We Deserve

In the aftermath of trauma, the path to healing is a complex journey. For many trauma survivors, an insidious challenge lies in overcoming the deeply ingrained belief that we deserve only the leftovers of life—whatever remains after others have taken their share. This mindset is often rooted in the experiences of powerlessness and devaluation during traumatic events. However, true healing and empowerment come from recognizing our worth and learning to actively fight for what we genuinely desire and deserve.

The Leftover Mentality

Trauma can distort our self-perception and worth. It tells us we are less deserving, less valuable, and less capable than others. This leads to a mindset where we accept the scraps of life, be it in relationships, careers, or personal goals. We settle for what’s available rather than what we truly want, believing that it’s all we’re entitled to.

This leftover mentality can manifest in various ways:

  • Relationships: Staying in unfulfilling or even harmful relationships because we think we don’t deserve better.
  • Careers: Settling for jobs that don’t challenge or fulfill us, underestimating our abilities and worth in the professional world.
  • Personal Dreams: Abandoning our dreams and aspirations, convincing ourselves that they are out of reach.

Recognizing Our Worth

The first step in overcoming this mentality is recognizing our intrinsic worth. Every person has inherent value, irrespective of their past experiences. Trauma does not define us; it is a part of our story, but it is not the whole story. To reclaim our lives, we must shift our self-perception from one of survival to one of thriving.

Fighting for What We Want

Fighting for what we want means stepping out of the shadow of our trauma and actively pursuing our goals and desires. This process involves several key steps:

  1. Self-Reflection and Awareness:

    • Acknowledge the impact of trauma on our self-esteem and beliefs.
    • Identify areas in our lives where we have settled for less than we deserve.
  2. Setting Boundaries:

    • Learn to say no to situations and people that devalue us.
    • Establish clear, healthy boundaries that protect our well-being.
  3. Building Self-Confidence:

    • Engage in activities that reinforce our strengths and capabilities.
    • Celebrate small victories and progress in our journey.
  4. Seeking Support:

    • Surround ourselves with supportive individuals who believe in our worth.
    • Consider therapy or support groups to address deep-seated beliefs and heal emotional wounds.
  5. Pursuing Our Dreams:

    • Revisit and revive old dreams and aspirations.
    • Set achievable goals and take actionable steps towards them, no matter how small.

The Power of Choice

An essential part of this journey is embracing the power of choice. Trauma often strips us of our sense of agency. Reclaiming this agency involves recognizing that we have the power to choose our paths and destinies. We can choose to demand more from life, to seek out opportunities, and to assert our needs and desires.

Healing Through Action

Healing is not a passive process; it requires active engagement with our lives and our futures. By fighting for what we want, we not only reclaim our sense of self but also rebuild our lives in ways that reflect our true worth and potential. This fight is a testament to our resilience and strength, proving that we are more than our traumas.

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Trauma may have cast long shadows over our lives, but we possess the inner strength to step into the light. By challenging the leftover mentality and actively fighting for what we want, we honor our worth and rewrite our narratives. This journey is neither easy nor linear, but it is a powerful declaration of self-love and self-respect. We deserve more than leftovers; we deserve the fullness of life, and it is within our power to claim it.