When you think of trauma who or what comes to mind? Often, people may think of trauma as something that follows a single, major, life altering negative event such as a soldier who has fought in a war or someone who has been in an abusive relationship, or even someone who has been a victim of kidnapping or sex trafficking. While these are a few examples of negative life experiences that can cause trauma in one’s life, trauma is much more widely experienced by people of all ages and populations, and in many surprisingly, unique ways.
Simply put, trauma is a disorder that affects one’s mental or behavior state, and it is caused by a severe mental, emotional or physical injury. Please note that mental, emotional, or physical injury may be a one-time event as well as a long-term event that may repeatedly happen over days, weeks, months, or even years. If you are currently living in or have been a member or participant of an unhealthy, dysfunctional, or harmful environment, such as home, school, work, or an organization, you may unknowingly be suffering from trauma.
Be aware that trauma can hide from you…AND when you least expect it…trauma can jump out and reveal itself. Listen to your body…Look for signs through self-assessing…
Questions to ask yourself….
Have I had any life experiences as a child, adolescent, or adult that have negatively affected me in the following areas:
1.Relationships with family members, friends, or coworkers
2.Progress or success in life, career, or goals
3. Personal beliefs about religion, spirituality, people, culture, race, heterosexuality, and/or homosexuality
4. Physical health, sickness, or ailments, natural disasters such as hurricanes/tropical storms, and/or global pandemics (Covid-19)
5. Physical appearance and/or self-esteem
Start the conversation today…You may wish to process and talk with a professional in therapy within a comfortable, judgment-free, and safe zone. If you are a parent, spouse, or loved one you might consider processing family trauma or grief within a family group setting.
Taking the first step to deal with personal trauma is one of the best personal investments that one can make in life…How has this knowledge of trauma empowered you on your pathway of self-discovery?
By Nyree Walker Pringle,
Heart to Heart Counseling Services with Alaina Lopez
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