We cannot, and would not, define your experience of trauma. We offer these quotes, links and articles for reference only. Please do not use this information as a substitute for professional diagnosis or support if this is what you are looking for.
Trauma & Co.
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“In PTSD a traumatic event is not remembered and relegated to one’s past in the same way as other life events. Trauma continues to intrude with visual, auditory, and/or other somatic reality on the lives of its victims. Again and again they relive the life-threatening experiences they suffered, reacting in mind and body as though such events were still occurring. PTSD is a complex psychobiological condition.”
~ Babette Rothschild, The Body Remembers ~
“Traumatic symptoms are not caused by the “triggering” event itself. They stem from the frozen residue of energy that has not been resolved or discharged; this residue remains trapped in the nervous system where it can wreak havoc on our bodies and spirits.”
~ Peter Levine, Waking the Tiger ~
“We have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body. This imprint has ongoing consequences for how the human organism manages to survive in the present. Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way mind and brain manage perceptions. It changes not only how we think and what we think about, but also our very capacity to think.”
~ Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma ~
“Traumatic events destroy the sustaining bonds between individual and community. Those who have survived learn that their sense of self, of worth, of humanity, depends upon a feeling of connection with others. The solidarity of a group provides the strongest protection against terror and despair, and the strongest antidote to traumatic experience. Trauma isolates; the group re-creates a sense of belonging. Trauma shames and stigmatizes; the group bears witness and affirms. Trauma degrades the victim; the group exalts her. Trauma dehumanizes the victim; the group restores her humanity.”
~ Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror ~
“I think normalcy is a myth. The idea that some people have pathology and the rest of us are normal is crude. There’s nothing about any mentally ill person – and it doesn’t matter what their diagnosis is – that I couldn’t recognize in myself. The reality is that, in every case, mental illness is an outcome of traumatic events. And by trauma I don’t mean dramatic events. There’s a difference.
Fundamentally, it has to do with whether human needs are being met or not. Since we live in a society that largely denies human developmental needs – doesn’t even understand them, let alone provide for them – you’re going to have a lot of people affected in adverse ways. Most of the population, in fact. And so then to separate out those who meet the particular criteria for a particular diagnosis from the rest of us is utterly unscientific and unhelpful.
More to the point, you need to look at what is it about our society that generates what we call abnormality?”
~ Gabor Maté ~
“Childhood trauma can range from having faces extreme violence and neglect to having confronted feelings of not belonging, being unwanted, or being chronically misunderstood. You may have grown up in an environment where your curiosity and enthusiasm were constantly devalued. Perhaps you were brought up in a family where your parents had unresolved traumas of their own, which impaired their ability to attend to your emotional needs. Or, you may have faced vicious sexual or physical attacks. In all such situations, you learn to compensate by developing defenses around your most vulnerabe parts.”
~ Arielle Schwartz, The Complex PTSD Workbook: A Mind-Body Approach to Regaining Emotional Control and Becoming Whole ~
“Emerging trends in psychotherapy are now beginning to point beyond the traumas of the individual to include traumatic events in the family and social history as a part of the whole picture. Tragedies varying in type and intensity—such as abandonment, suicide and war, or the early death of a child, parent, or sibling—can send shock waves of distress cascading from one generation to the next. Recent developments in the fields of cellular biology, neurobiology, epigenetics, and developmental psychology underscore the importance of exploring at least three generations of family history in order to understand the mechanism behind patterns of trauma and suffering that repeat.”
~ Mark Wolynn, It Didn’t Start With You ~