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What is trauma?

What is trauma? Trauma, by definition, is any event that causes a person to feel stressed/anxious, frightened, or generally upset/ distressed. It may be physical or emotional and falls into three distinct categories, acute, chronic or complex. Trauma can include: abuse- mental, sexual, verbal, physical death- of a loved one, or a pet ghosting- when someone you care about just disappears physical- broken bones, brain injuries, general accidents that occur or even a bleeding hang mail if you’re hand model. Trauma happens to everyone. I’m going to repeat that trauma happens to everyone! I do not confess to knowing all the answers, or feelings associated with trauma, but will tell you, I have experienced my fair share, and I’ve had to reinvent myself several times because of it.

It isn’t something that we necessarily see when we interact with other people, after all, they rarely see it us. Yet, all trauma leads to our mental faculties being shaken around like flakes in a snow globe. They don’t always land in the same place they started. This can lead us to having to make changes, with our thought processes in order to keep moving forward. Yes, some traumas are easier to deal with than others, and often enough there are no lasting effects. But then there are those traumas, that we handle or don’t handle in one of two other ways: Number one, we push it down and try to forget it ever happened; telling ourselves it wasn’t that big of a deal. Or number two, we use it to define who we are rather than facing it head-on and using it for strength rather than woe. I know from experience, just as you do, that the traumas that we’ve gone through, regardless of how big or small will always affect us differently. Mental health as a whole is not a cookie-cutter disorder or a one-size-fits-all fix. That being said, either one of those ways that trauma is handled, can lead to addictions (another trauma). If you haven’t already, make sure that you advocate for yourself by taking the time and finding a therapist, a counselor, a social worker, a psychiatrist, someone you can talk with openly and honestly when things feel off. Preferably, someone that will show/teach you and or give you the tools and skills to help you help yourself without using our traumas or mental health issues as a crutch indefinitely.

Know you are not alone. We are here to hold each up and guide each other on this journey. Have a beautiful day.

Written by Nora Allen-Fleury

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