Time Orientation – Distance
Trauma time refers to the experience of feeling like you are still in the trauma (there-and-then), instead of the here-and-now.
One way to cope with trauma time is by utilizing time orientation skills, which involves reminding yourself of how the here-and-now is different from the there-and-then.
There are several different categories of time orientation skills: time, distance, power, choice, & comfort.
The category of distance refers to the physical distance between where you are now and where you were during the time of the trauma.
You don’t need to be living in a different state to use this strategy, but the more distance the more ways there are to remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
If you do live in a different state, how many states are between you and where you lived then, of how many miles between, of how many hours away it is.
If you are not as far away as an other state, you might focus on what part of town you live in now, on what street, in what house, or even in what bed are you sleeping in now, compared to then?
Then brainstorm ideas that will help remind you of this distance.
Maybe look at the address on your ID or driver’s license.
Maybe it’s looking out the window and noticing how your street/neighborhood is not the same.
Maybe it’s noticing how different your room looks now from the one you grew up in.
Remember, not all of these ideas will resonate with you. That’s okay, the important part is finding the ones that do work for you and using those when you notice that you’re reacting or responding from a place of trauma time.