Consider Trauma

What does trauma do to someone’s feelings, and emotions? Consider the age of the person and the impact will likely seem larger for those who are younger. Serious problems could develop. The overall impact trauma has on any one person is directly influenced by their ability to problem-solve, reason and cope. So, an adult who has limited coping skills may have a more dramatic response to trauma than a teenager with good coping skills and a strong support system. Conversely, elders may have had some organic changes in their brain and have lost some resiliency to contrast. It is all relative.

Trauma is subjective. The severity of the trauma depends entirely on how the person who has suffered it responds and reacts. To look at someone else who has suffered a crisis, you lose that subjectivity that they naturally possess. Even if someone is very close to you, the true emotion, fear or disruption in their life still impact them more. If you react more strongly than them, there is likely an imbalance in your emotional stability. Even if you are their parent, the sufferer will continue to be the person impacted the most. No amount of empathy brings you 100% in their shoes.

The groundwork of feeling safe happens very young. If you are familiar with the stages of development you understand this premise. If the infant/child did not successfully feel safe or autonomous, their response to trauma in their entire lifetime will have a greater impact upon them. Again, it is the basis of anyone’s development which the person builds the rest of their life experiences upon. If that foundation is unstable, there is little success in reaching a healthy, resilient, emotionally flexible child, young adult and adult.

This is where We tie into the post from yesterday. The household environment impacts the child from the start. A healthy parent/child relationship will go far into building someone with effective coping strategies. This refers to either parent or caregiver.

Any cycle of anger, fear, despair or acting out may happen all throughout life and in response to different areas of development. Nothing is set in stone and being flexible is very important to our discussion. Any disruption in care may affect the child. There are many factors that will create differences in a child’s development. The possibilities are endless. Each adult may have had a very unique upbringing experience, even if there are siblings. We will not touch upon each form of contrast.

Optimal is an emotionally healthy home with adequate supervision, individual attention, scholastic help, leisure activities and adequate finances. Each parent is healthy and responsible. Any disruption is handled calmly and fairly. Attention and help is given equally to every child. The children are healthy and able to successfully negotiate the school environment.

This is optimal but not common. Even if many of the requirements are met there still will be variations that may impact each child. It is important to raise a child to feel safe, secure, understood, valued and protected. If any of these areas are impaired or lacking, there may be changes in the child’s behavior.

Now add any amount of dysfunction to the home. With a higher incidence of conflict, upheaval, abuse or neglect, the impact upon the health of each child will be affected negatively. More stress leads to more reactivity. Then, being resilient as children are, they will somehow find a new “normal.” If the conflict is long-lasting, severe or directed at the child, they will lose their ability to resolve their emotional disruption. The dysfunction in their household will have a permanent impact on them.

Why is any of this important? Because you are the child AND the parent. You have elements of each in your everyday life. Perhaps you haven’t realized that in some situations, you are the younger person, subordinate or least mature individual in an interaction or environment. Then, you may be the older, authoritative, ultimately responsible person of a different interaction or environment. There is blend of many situations and interactions that draw upon your coping and maturity. Within you there are matters handled by the “parent” aspect and others responded to by the “child” aspect.

We have done some Inner Child work in the past and We will do more now. You are in a position of responsibility for yourself. Being an independent adult leaves you in control of your emotional health. You must examine your perception of trauma. Remember that you are the only person who will understand how you felt and responded to the upsetting events of your life. Others may share some similar feelings but no one can feel exactly what you did. Trauma is subjective. It is up to you to decide how important each event was and resolve the seemingly permanent results it had upon you.

As an adult, you have a choice as to how you will behave and react. Take into account any dysfunction in your life and your ability to respond optimally will decrease. You have the choice. You are responsible for every action you take. Review how you were raised. How strong is your independence and feelings of worth? Did things go well for you? Or, was there an overwhelming amount of dysfunction to deal with? How is this impacting your current life? If you are emotionally healthy, you have reasonable, contemplative responses to contrast. You may not have experienced every situation that you will encounter in life but you have confidence and self-assurance. If you have impulsive, emotionally reactive behavior, there were disruptions in your development. Perhaps this is trauma related or another causative factor.

We focus on trauma for good reason. Anything with less emotional impact would likely not have had permanent changes to the emotional development of anyone. An annoyance, complication, challenge… would be manageable to most people at any age. Trauma is more severe and life altering. Always remember that this is what you considered to be traumatic. Other people may disagree with your perspective but that is inconsequential. You decide what traumatized you.

Our perspective starts with you healing yourself and then rising above to experience life from a position of strength, confidence, emotional and spiritual health. Let us walk this road together.

 

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