You may recall the old bumper stickers with a similar sentiment, S— Happens! My experience is that the same can be said of Trauma. It happens.
I’m often asked, what qualifies as trauma?
Let me give some examples.
Living in the home of alcoholic or otherwise addicted parents who give you a key to let yourself in, use the TV as a 24-7 babysitter, answer questions with “I don’t care.” and more or less communicate to you that they are uninterested in your existence.
Having parents who fight in front of you.
Going through the divorce of your parents – no matter how ‘amiable’ they were and not matter how old you are.
Emotional abuse – MANIPULATION.
Learning that your husband of many years and countless memories has a double life; a hidden sexual addiction.
Prolonged or repeated exposure to people who have experienced trauma. (we call this vicarious traumatization or compassion fatigue)
Suffering through a car accident.
Trauma happens. Trauma impacts. In some ways you can identify trauma as anything that produces a strong negative emotional state, typically fear based, along with a desire to feel differently – to seek safety. Some people experienced one or more traumatic events and seem to do so with remarkable resiliency. They can just keep moving forward. Others are impacted more deeply.
- Trauma happens
- Reject feelings of shame for being impacted by trauma – it is normal
- Learn to process the pain relationally by telling your story
- Stay present – avoid the seductive allure of avoiding your pain
- Grow through it. Evaluated experiences add depth and character to our existence.
- Get help if needed. A good trauma counselor can help you overcome the often debilitating impact of trauma and help you get your life back.