Let’s expand the definition of trauma. Historically, we think of trauma as big events that caused stress and shock and impacted your old view of yourself and the world. This is big ‘T’ trauma. It has become more apparent that trauma also happens in more subtle ways.
Often my clients think back to their childhood and say “nothing big ever happened, there was nothing traumatic”, yet they are experiencing difficulty in relationships, difficulty regulating their nervous system and a lot of anxiety. They then wonder what is wrong with them.
Trauma is not limited to specific events. It can also be a cumulation of smaller events and omissions while growing up. What is important is how those things affect our nervous system and what support we have around us at the time.
To survive any kind of trauma, we have to adapt. Adapt or die. So as children, we create coping mechanisms to survive our environment, mechanisms that often block intimacy as adults.
Nothing is wrong with you. You adapted to your environment, you are a survivor. If you know these adaptations are not working for you anymore, know that you CAN heal and become a cycle breaker in your family.