When we think of trauma, we tend to think of it as an extreme event such as war or natural disasters. When thought of in terms of interpersonal relationships, we tend to think of trauma as physical or sexual abuse. While these are all very real examples of trauma, it is important to highlight other types of trauma which are not always thought of when defining the word.
This is important because in order to allow for healing to begin, we must first identify what needs to be healed. So many people walk through the world feeling hurt, damaged, or affected by past experiences. However, because they minimize them rather than acknowledging them as the trauma that they are, they do not often seek the help that they need to feel better.
We live in a world of comparison. With Facebook and social media at an all time high in popularity, society highlights the extremes, often missing the parts of life that are more subtle, yet equally as damaging, if not more so because they are less recognized.
So to clarify, lets define trauma in a more all-inclusive manner. Trauma is any experience that overwhelms one’s physical or emotional resources. It is any experience that impacts your life negatively. It can occur in response to an incident that happened once or is on-going. Examples of trauma that are usually less acknowledged are: emotional abuse, moving, divorce, illness, job change, life transitions, grief and loss. This is clearly not an extensive list, but more so written with hopes to help you explore your own life and recognize your experiences in a new more validating light.
Trauma often builds on itself, therefore you may find that a recent event or experience has really shaken you up more than you expected. This can occur due to the more recent events mirroring past experiences, as our current feelings are often the result of prior information we have lived through or learned. Rather than comparing as we tend to do, give a voice to your feelings and seek therapeutic support in facing them. If it is real to you and causing a negative impact on your life than it is worth working through.
Most people will experience trauma at some point in their lives. So rather than judging and hiding our experiences from one another, lets open the lines of communication so that we can all be validated and move through the experience.