Trauma often comes with grief. You may grieve your life prior to trauma, grieve for the future, grieve for what could’ve been, grieve for your past self, and grieve for the way trauma affects you in the present moment. Additionally, it’s common for those who survive trauma to feel shame, whether it’s shame for the way they feel (e.g. “other people have it worse, I shouldn’t feel this way”), misplaced blame on themselves, or something else.
Although we all walk different paths, many of us seek relatable quotes from others to help us find a sense of validation or a path forward.
Whether you’re looking for something to help describe the way trauma affects you, or want to find a statement that’ll uplift you on a rough day, here are some trauma quotes to aid you in your journey.
Trauma quotes for validation
“To live in the body of a survivor is to never be able to leave the scene of the crime. I cannot ignore the fact that I live here.” – Blythe Baird
“What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human.” – Brené Brown
“Trauma fractures comprehension as a pebble shatters a windshield. The wound at the site of impact spreads across the field of vision, obscuring reality and challenging belief.” – Jane Leavy
“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” – Laurell K. Hamilton
“I wish my head could forget what my eyes have seen.” – Dave Parnell
“After a traumatic experience, the human system of self-preservation seems to go onto permanent alert, as if the danger might return at any moment.” – Judith Lewis Herman
Quotes on healing trauma
“I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself, and I’ve found that kindness is the best way.” – Lady Gaga
“Trauma creates change you don’t choose. Healing is about creating change you do choose.” – Michelle Rosenthal
“The only permission, the only validation, and the only opinion that matters in our quest for greatness is our own.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli
“Healing from trauma can also mean strength and joy. The goal of healing is not a papering-over of changes in an effort to preserve or present things as normal. It is to acknowledge and wear your new life – warts, wisdom, and all – with courage.” – Catherine Woodiwiss
“For someone who’s been traumatized, that feeling of balance and wholeness is such a surprise, it can cause an ‘identity crisis.’ We don’t recognize ourselves because we’re no longer filled with shame and fear and collapse.” – Peter A. Levine
“There is no one way to recover and heal from any trauma. Each survivor chooses their own path or stumbles across it.” – Laurie Matthew
“Sometimes, the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.” – Joubert Botha
“There is no timestamp on trauma. There isn’t a formula that you can insert yourself into to get from horror to healed. Be patient. Take up space. Let your journey be the balm.” – Dawn Serra
“Healing trauma involves tears. The tears release our pain. The tears are part of our recovery. My friend, please let your tears flow.” – Dana Arcuri
Trauma quotes about self-compassion
“This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need.” – Kristin Neff
“Self-compassion is like a muscle. The more we practice flexing it, especially when life doesn’t go exactly according to plan – a frequent scenario for most of us – the stronger and more resilient our compassion muscle becomes.” – Sharon Salzberg
“The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.” – Steve Maraboli
“Compassion isn’t some kind of self-improvement project or ideal that we’re trying to live up to. Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves, all those imperfections that we don’t even want to look at.” – Pema Chodron
“We must acknowledge that we are included in the ‘love one another.’” – Peggi Speer
“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.” – Kristen Neff
Triumph and hope
“I am better off healed than I ever was unbroken.” – Beth Moore
“Instead of saying ‘I’m damaged, I’m broken, I have trust issues.” I say “I’m healing, I’m rediscovering myself, I’m starting over.” – Horacio Jones
“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.” – Bob Marley
“The triumph can’t be had without the struggle.” – Wilma Rudolph
“Healing yourself is connected with healing others.” – Yoko Ono
“One day, you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide.” – Brene Brown
“Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.” – Rachel Naomi Remen
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller
“Let your joy scream across the pain.” – Terri Guillemets
Talking about trauma
It’s not always easy to talk about trauma, but it’s important to have a place to turn when you need to. Supportiv is a peer support network for those experiencing life struggles who need someone to talk to. It’s secure, anonymous, and human-centered. Although it’s not a replacement for therapy, it is a safe space, and you match with someone right away when you sign up. Click here to learn more about Supportiv, or reach out to someone else in your life who you can talk to.
If you are in need of crisis care, please go to the nearest emergency room or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.