Trauma is usually described as something “horrible” happening to an individual. This is a valid description of trauma. However, the general public can fail to realize that trauma can be more encompassing than just one horrible event; and what is traumatic to one person may not be to another. Trauma can be the result of many stressful events that pile up and overwhelm a person’s ability to cope. So whatever your pain is from, it is valid pain and we are glad you are here with us.
Childhood trauma and neglect is particularly overlooked in this discussion and made to seem as “normal” due to cultural &/or family norms regarding emotional expression & what is deemed by society as acceptable coping. We know that everyone copes with trauma differently and the ways you learned to keep yourself safe after what you experienced, make so much sense.
At the time of the trauma(s), it is common to dissociate or not remember the actual event. It is also normal to become more aware of your surroundings and feel that the world is not as safe anymore. There are times where you feel you cannot rely on people and have created more independence or distance. Certain places, smells, sounds or people may trigger a response that you do not understand and you start to avoid these places so you don’t have to deal with these overwhelming emotions. You may still feel controlled by the stressful events of the past and yet your best attempts to manage the struggle are not working. No matter how often you say “I should be able to handle this,” the echoes of the past pain still remains.
Therapy can help an individual sit down and process their trauma in a safe, calm environment. The therapist holds space for you so that you are not alone in the journey. Processing and learning healthy coping skills can help an individual regain a true sense of control. No one can erase the trauma but therapy can help you create a life worth living with more freedom and inner flexibility.