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  • Writer's pictureKim Colman

HOW I CHOSE MY PATH

People ask me how did I choose trauma and stress as a field to specialise in.

This came about after I spent 18 months healing from my trauma and then I decided that I wanted to help and assist others that had gone through what I had experienced. I felt that I could offer empathy and provide compassion from a knowledge point of view and from knowing exactly what it feels like. I obviously had to make sure that I had worked through all my trigger points and trauma before I could help anyone else, so as to not re traumatise myself.

I started researching and studying many different methods that could aid and assist people. It took me 8 months before I was able to seek any professional help as I did not want to rehash my incident. I understood that I needed to get to grips with my emotions and fears, but I did not want to retell this story, start shaking again and crying. About a week after the incident a special Detective came to my house and I had to relive the whole event and walk the path and explain every explicit detail. This was so traumatic and I remember shivering and shaking. At the time he was not concerned at all, but I did realise that he was just doing his job to try to get clues. He made me try to remember smells, sounds, colours, which are all painful triggers. It is no wonder I was an absolute wreck and after that, I certainly did not want to do it again with anyone.

I discovered EFT or as it is also called Tapping, which helped me so much to calm me down and I was able to work through my emotions with no words. This is a really kind technique for working with trauma.

I joined the Randburg South African Police Trauma Centre in 2009, and did voluntary trauma support and counselling for the South African Police Service in the evenings and on weekends. I would be called out mostly to the scene of the crime to offer on site trauma support and counselling. After the incident, I would see the person and the family for 3 consecutive visits and then encourage them to continue with further counselling or support. I would also be called to the Police station to deal with incidents that had come in there. When leaving home, I never knew what I was going to find, or how bad the people were, just that I would give them as much comfort as possible in that moment. When I left to drive home, I had to clear my mind, and make a conscious effort, not to bring the horror moments back with me. My purpose was to provide support, care and comfort, as this was what I had been provided and I wanted to give back to the community.

This was my PAY IT FORWARD which I continued to do for 3 years till I left SA in 2011.

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