Traumatic experiences impact your brain and change the way you experience the world. After a traumatic event, you may be able to function in your daily life, but you are not thriving.
To cope you numb out and dissociate from your feelings. But if you suppress the emotional lows, you lose the emotional highs. You may look okay from the outside, but you are spending a lot of energy to keep those feelings and memories down. Addictions and compulsive behaviors creep up, relationships suffer, and you lose touch with your passion for life.
Trauma can change your brain, causing the amygdala, (the “fight/flight/freeze” part) to increase in size and activity, and your prefrontal cortex (your higher reasoning center) to be less active. This leaves you in a state of constant alertness and anxiety. The world looks unsafe because you haven’t processed and resolved the traumas you’ve experienced. So, even when life is going smoothly, you can’t fully relax and we are always waiting for the other shoe to drop.