Think you never experienced trauma? Think again!

Recently I was listening to a friend share about their childhood on zoom:
“I was acting as if I had been traumatised, but I hadn’t. My parents were loving.
Nothing out of the ordinary ever happened to me, and yet, I always felt broken.
I felt different, craved intimacy in all the wrong ways, and was anxious.”

A man identified with all the symptoms of trauma but could not remember any.
So what happened here?

Levine, the father of somatic experiencing,
defines trauma as any perceived 
life-threatening event, either as
a child or in adulthood.

If you’ve ever recognised signs of unresolved trauma within yourself (see here), you might know the relief of finding a label that perfectly describes our experience.
Nervous system expert Irene Lyon explains how everyone has lived through some kind of trauma.
This can range from grief, bullying, car accidents, loud noises, medical procedures, exposure to loneliness or extreme temperature. Trauma is always unique, and sometimes we don’t even remember the cause because we were too young to remember.
Here’s a previous post on somatic experiencing to heal not only the symptoms, but also the causes of trauma.

“The majority of ‘grown ups’ remain
until their death psychological children 
who have never truly separated
themselves from their parents.”
– M. Scott Peck

Psychologist Peck also talks about the reluctance of some of his parents to see their parents as real and flawed human beings.
If we’ve grown up feeling responsible for the wellbeing of our parents, or even feeling pity for them, we will defend them no matter what.
But the reality is that even the most loving parents might miss some things.
Children being traumatised is not necessarily a sign of faulty parenting, but of a faulty society.
It takes a village to raise a child after all!

“There are wounds that never show
on the body that are deeper and
more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
– Laurell K. Hamilton

The truth is, the cause of trauma is often very hard to uncover.
Its symptoms however are often glaringly obvious.
Allowing ourselves to validate our experiences is vital in our healing process.
Have you ever doubted past trauma, or discovered on your self-growth journey that there was more that you were aware of?

One thought on “Think you never experienced trauma? Think again!

Add yours

  1. “It takes a village to raise a child after all!” …

    In the movie K-PAX, the visiting-ET ‘Prot’ says to the clinical psychiatrist interviewing him: “On K-PAX, everyone’s children’s wellbeing matters to everyone, as everyone takes part in rearing everyone else’s offspring.”

    I’ve always found this concept appealing, for, unlike with humans, every K-PAX-ian child’s good health is in everyone’s best interest.

    A 2007 study, titled The Science of Early Childhood Development, found and reported that:
    “The future of any society depends on its ability to foster the health and well-being of the next generation. Stated simply, today’s children will become tomorrow’s citizens, workers, and parents. When we invest wisely in children and families, the next generation will pay that back through a lifetime of productivity and responsible citizenship. When we fail to provide children with what they need to build a strong foundation for healthy and productive lives, we put our future prosperity and security at risk …
    “All aspects of adult human capital, from work force skills to cooperative and lawful behavior, build on capacities that are developed during childhood, beginning at birth … The basic principles of neuroscience and the process of human skill formation indicate that early intervention for the most vulnerable children will generate the greatest payback.”

    For me, it’s a disappointing revelation as to our collective humanity when the report’s author feels compelled to repeatedly refer to living, breathing and often enough suffering human beings as a well-returning ‘investment’ and ‘human capital’ in an attempt to convince money-minded society that it’s in our own best fiscal interest to fund early-life programs that result in lowered incidence of unhealthy, dysfunctional child development.

    (Frank Sterle Jr.)

    Liked by 1 person

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