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Storytelling: Healing After Trauma

Trauma is a deeply personal and universal experience, touching more lives than you might believe. Whether through personal encounters or those close to us, its presence lingers, shaping our journeys in profound ways.

If you have gone through trauma of any kind, it can be hard to open up about something that shakes you to the core. It's as if trauma takes away your voice.

It's already difficult living through the trauma. It's an entirely different thing to talk about these life-defining moments. My path has been marked by challenges—from navigating toxic relationships to a shocking divorce.

These moments don't just pass; they transform us and our connections with those around us.

trauma definition

The Ubiquity of Trauma and Its Echoes

Trauma's reach is vast, crossing all demographics and life stages. Consider these findings:

  • According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 67% of Americans face a traumatic event by age 16.

  • The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) varies by gender, with women (8%) experiencing it at double the rate of men (4%).

  • The World Health Organization highlights that one in three women globally has endured physical or sexual violence.

Yet, amidst these stark realities, hope shines through the darkness. Therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) offer pathways to healing, helping individuals reclaim their lives.

healing trauma through storytelling
Healing Trauma Through Storytelling

Storytelling Heals Your Voice after Trauma

Losing one's voice to trauma is common, but storytelling offers a bridge back to self-expression and empowerment.

Storytelling brings your voice back to life.

My journey has allowed me to stand alongside those navigating their healing paths. Many are recovering from trauma including:

  • miscarriages

  • relatives who died from cancer

  • drug and alcohol addiction

  • verbal and physical abuse

  • racial/ethnic/religious hate speech and violence

  • financial burdens

  • sexual harassment

  • and more

There is a time and place for trauma victims to heal alone. There is also a time and place for moving forward and healing with others.

Creating a safe space for sharing is the first step toward healing. Your narrative is a precious gift, and you hold the power to choose its audience, be it close loved ones or broader communities.

Through storytelling, you accomplish two critical goals

  1. Healing Ourselves: Giving voice to our experiences and providing strength in vulnerability.

  2. Supporting Others: Connecting your voice to others experiencing trauma.

The impact of sharing and connecting through trauma storytelling cannot be overstated. It has tremendous potential to uplift and inspire.

As I write this, soaring 36,000 feet in the sky, I'm reminded of the parallels between the unpredictability of life and the experience of trauma. Both situations can leave us feeling powerless, yet it's in these moments that our stories of resilience and recovery matter the most. For you, me, and everyone else.

My Near-Blinding Wakeup Call

Growing up, I have questionable peer influences in my life. I am a troublemaker, but that does not compare to the sh*t my friends do. I hang around them because I get a rush living on the edge. We share laughs and many good memories. Until one afternoon when everything changed.

Tuesday, September 10th, 2002. Around 4pm I ride my bike to a nearby park to meet up with the crew. As I get closer, I see four people on the roof of the bathroom structure.

My friends are ripping asphalt shingles off the roof. I don't want any part of this. I draw the line at the destruction of public property.

My friend Ben is still on the roof. I walk over to him until I am 10 feet away. Then I ask Ben to stop and leave before anyone reports them. It is only a matter of time.

He does not want to stop, so I turn around and walk in the opposite direction. Whatever, I am done with this. I only take a few steps before Ben shouts "David catch".

It startles me. I turn around quickly to make sure everything is okay. Before I can react, I see an object rocketing towards me. It feels like my life is flashing before my eyes. It is happening in super slow-mo and I feel frozen.

This object eventually makes contact with my face. I black out. Don't ask me how but I end up on the grass. A few moments later I open my eyes.

The pain is unbearable. I lay there crying and screaming in agony. There is blood everywhere. On my clothes. My hands. The grass. The concrete. Beside me, I see the object that Ben threw, the shingle.

I use whatever energy I have left to stand up and walk back home. I am too afraid to tell anyone what happened, but the pain is unbearable. I am still bleeding.

My parents take me to the emergency room. As I sit in the waiting room, I pray to God that I don't need stitches. Every kid's worst nightmare.

The doctor examines the cut. Thankfully, they recommend using medical glue instead of stitches.

The next day I wake up and feel as if I am given a second chance. It forces me to think about the person I want to become. Ben and the others were blinding me from my true path. September 11th, 2002 was the day I cut them out of my life.

This is nothing short of a miracle. The shingle almost hit my eyes, risking permanent blindness. Instead, it left a gash right between my eyes. If you look closely, you can still see the scar today.

This incident was a turning point in my life. A moment of painful clarity that forced me to confront the consequences of my choices. Storytelling became a lifeline for me to share my wake-up call and lessons with others. I witnessed its powerful impact on my audience and this journey led me to become a storytelling coach - to support others in finding their voices, just as I found mine.

Your Voice Matters

Your journey, your stories, and your resilience in the face of trauma hold immense power—not just for your own healing, but for inspiring and supporting others navigating their paths. Your strength lies not in avoiding trauma but in how you respond to it, how you share it, and how you grow from it. Millions of people around the world face trauma. They could use your voice to heal.

If my story resonated with you, or if you’re at a crossroads looking to find your voice through storytelling, I’d love to hear from you. Whether you’re ready to share your story or seeking guidance on how to begin, your insights and experiences are invaluable. Reach out to me at

David Ghodsizadeh is the founder and storytelling coach at Storytelling 4 Success.


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