When we think about trauma, we usually think about big things; abuse, car accidents, death, etc. But trauma responses are activated by many other things.
I have noticed in my practice that people who have not experienced events that we think of as traumatic often find themselves having classic trauma responses to situations—a lot of anxiety and depression. Why?
Many things can be traumatic for a child. These things often remain unprocessed because we didn’t receive the help we needed and, as children, we didn’t have the emotional, mental or spiritual ability to deal with them alone.
Maybe your parents were not present to your needs, perhaps they were overwhelmed themselves and unable to deal with what was going on, perhaps they just didn’t care, or were depressed. As children, we need help to regulate. We need someone to attune to us when we are distressed and soothe us until we can self-soothe as adults.
When we have experienced many mini traumas in our childhood, when our reality has been denied, and we have not been tended to, we look outside for validation, love and to be soothed. We can doubt ourselves and question our understanding of complex situations.
Over time we develop coping strategies, which might look like various forms of numbing.; watching too much TV, overeating or using alcohol.
Our learnt ways of being can be changed over time; we CAN begin to heal from our childhood wounds, align with our values, and live a more expansive, free and fulfilling life.
As we become aware of the patterns and view our behaviours with compassion, we take our power back from our childhood and begin making new choices as to where we put our energy and how we live our lives.
Trauma comes in all shapes and sizes. Your trauma is as valid as the next person’s.
Let me know if this resonates with you.