Trauma Support: Trauma Is What Happens Inside of You
“Trauma is not what happens to you. Trauma is what happens inside you, as a result of what happens to you.” — Dr. Gabor Maté
A very true statement.
What does it imply, though?
Some go through a traumatic event and come out unharmed without the long-lasting effects of PTSD; others suffer immensely.
Trauma Support & How Being (re)Traumatized Depends On These 4 Things:
- How you go into a traumatic event.
- The duration and severity of the traumatic event.
- The support or lack of trauma support you receive during or after the event.
- If you were able to move your energy into fight or flight while going through a traumatic event.
(1) If you have a history of childhood trauma, your resilience and ability to act with a healthy fight or flight response will be impacted; therefore, the probability that new traumas will negatively affect you is increased.
(2) The longer a traumatic situation continues and wears down your energy and resources, the more difficult it becomes to find a means of regulating yourself or finding ways to escape. Your survival strategies and coping mechanisms become more complex, compounded, and ingrained.
(3) If you do not have a trauma support person(s) during or after a stressful or traumatic event or period, you likely dissociate more severely and depression/shut-down will be more common.
(4) Depending on the three points mentioned above, and referencing Dr. Gabor Maté’s statement, if you were able to activate yourself during a traumatic event or period and move your energy into fight or flight, you will significantly reduce the impact of trauma.
Trauma Support, Lack of Support & Growth After Trauma
The impact of trauma, i.e. what happens inside of you, is the ability to act or the inability to act. When you are unable to react with fight or flight to mobilize your energy and bring these survival responses to completion, that becomes the main contributor to (re)traumatization.
Many people start from a disadvantage; they did not have any trauma support, they suffered childhood trauma, or they were exposed to prolonged trauma. Does it mean that all is lost?
Through specific guided meditations for trauma support, or through trauma informed therapy, you can complete these survival responses.
It takes work and persistence, but it can be done.