What is trauma? Sometimes when we hear a word like trauma, we think of extreme circumstances. Most of us however, have never faced something like the brutality of war. In the last 20 years, we have become more aware of psychological and emotional trauma, where the body is often intact and uninjured, but we find that the injury exists more deeply within a person.
What is trauma?
While phycological and emotional trauma can certainly happen in extreme experiences such as a war, this type of trauma is most commonly experienced within the families we are born into and live with, and the places of worship and education we attend. The scars of bullying, spiritual abuse, neglect, verbal abuse, abandonment, labelling, name calling, shaming and sexism to name a few, lie deep within a being.
Trauma is also a matter of perception. Two people can experience the same event, but will interpret it very differently; one as a traumatic situation and the other neutrally or as a growth opportunity. This is related to their ability to cope with the situation. When their coping skills are overwhelmed, a person will consider what they are experiencing as trauma, no matter how another person may perceive the incident.
Each person has their own story regarding their life and the trauma they have experienced. These stories are carefully stored within each person, in their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual beings, within their very cells. The stories are not stored to harm the person, but rather to keep them safe until their story can be unraveled and healed in a safe and respectful environment. The symptoms we experience are our bodies way of asking us to find a that safe and nurturing place.