Trauma is the most misunderstood, disregarded, ignored, overlooked, and mistreated of all mental suffering. But not only mental but also physical suffering.
The results of unresolved and unhealed trauma can be very damaging. Trauma can influence your behaviour and beliefs which can lead you to addictions and enable you to make decisions.
Trauma can have an impact on your family and relationships with others. Also, trauma causes physical pain, unpleasant physical symptoms, and diseases. When you have unresolved trauma, it will lead to many self-destructive behaviours. You will be experiencing life through survival mode rather than living your life. But what is important to note is that trauma doesn’t have to be your life sentence. You can heal yourself, and you can heal the traumatic experience that you have experienced.
Understanding Developmental Trauma
Usually, when thinking about trauma, we tend to believe that trauma is something like war, a fatal car accident, or a catastrophic natural event e.g. tsunami. Yes, these are the extremes of trauma experiences, which can evolve into PTSD, but the truth is, these don’t happen that often to the majority of us.
However, there are traumas that are happening on a daily basis, worldwide, and no one talks about it, or people are not even aware that they are experiencing the traumatic experiences. These include:
- Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse,
- Emotional and physical neglect,
- Had parents who were emotionally withdrawn,
- Very demanding parents,
- Parents or caretakers who were addicted,
- When you had to be the parent for your parents,
- When you were living in constant fear
- When you had no safe space
- When being visible was too dangerous
- When you were responsible for other members of the family,
- When you experience grief or loss,
- When your parents or someone close suffered from an illness,
- When your safety depended on others’ mood
- Having narcissistic parent
- A parent who suffered from depression or other mental illness
Developmental trauma can leave you with different emotional wounds: rejection, abandonment, betrayal, and injustice. Let’s look at some of the blueprints that trauma can leave on your body and mind:
- You quickly make negative assumptions about what others are thinking.
- You are wary about letting people in.
- You find compromising difficult.
- You are a people, pleaser.
- Fear of being left behind or abandoned.
- Inability to form healthy relationships in the teenage or adult years.
- Low self-esteem, not feeling worthy.
- Trouble recognising, expressing, or managing emotions.
- Anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
- Panic attacks.
- Chronic chest or back pain.
- Feeling fatigued or drained.
- Unpredictable and irrational emotions.
- Disorientation and short attention span.