Who doesn’t say that every now and then? “That event traumatized me.”, “That person traumatized me.”, “If you talk like that, you traumatize me!”.
In short, we often hear, and we say it ourselves, the word trauma. Sometimes so often that it seems overused.
It may be Freud’s fault for having cleared this term – it wasn’t talked about before – but also the merit, because thanks to the fact that it is talked about it allows us to focus attention on internal contents.
Without necessarily doing it only in the room of a psychologist, psychotherapist or psychiatrist.
We do not go into the definition of trauma in this article, but we try to offer some food for thought on the behaviors that could derive from a traumatic experience that has not been processed and not overcome.
You could say that trauma itself is very relativebecause the same event in a person can trigger very different reactions depending on the period of his life he is in.
Equally, in different people it can cause completely different reactions, among which there may be nothing traumatic.
Most of us believe that trauma is an event/happening that happened to us. But if that were the case, once the event has passed, the trauma should also pass. And we know that’s not the case.
It can be said that trauma is the name we give to emotion (usually pain) arising from an event/experience, which was not fully understoodbut most of the time not even fully felt.
So, an experience may cause some kind of hurt to some, while not to others. When this wound is not even seen it is difficult to overcome it (exactly as in the case of physical wounds).
For this reason it is useful to reflect and perhaps not hesitate to turn to a coach, counselor or any other help figure and talk about a behavior that we notice in ourselves (which seems silly) to begin to clarify, and perhaps discover that we is behind a wound that we didn’t even notice.
Perhaps our behaviors that seem trivial are not at all. They are precious indicators of our interiority, precisely because the interiority is invisible but is decisive for our well-being.
Let’s see what the 4 behaviors are of the possible ways of reacting to the difficult experience of the traumatic event:
Once upon a time this involved various ways of physical distancing, but today there are different ways of escape, which it never occurs to us to consider as such:
– spend hours in front of the TV (perhaps zapping and not really watching anything),
– spending hours on social media (perhaps taking an interest in the experiences of others and the experiences they go through, informing us in detail),
– eating compulsively (you know those moments when we open the fridge and devour what we find, realizing we have only eaten it when we have finished?);
Once upon a time this was evident only in participation in fights or squabbles, but there are many ways of fighting that are sometimes unsuspected:
– generalized irritability (the famous “I’m feeling bad today”),
-emotional outbursts (of any emotion, often inappropriate to the context of the moment),
-entering and maintaining toxic relationships (those in which the interaction is unhealthy, and in which perhaps the person who has suffered the trauma behaves in a toxic way towards the other unfortunate person);
Stopping is a difficult reaction to identify because it is not very visible and does not attract attention:
-isolation (often accompanied with: “I feel a bit like this, I need to be on my own”),
– difficulty making decisions (often hastily dismissed with the label of being indecisive),
-procrastination (most often judged simply as laziness, which adds further difficulty to the one that caused the procrastination, i.e. the unprocessed trauma);
4. Victimize yourself
One of the most subtle methods, because they are widely considered “normal” or sometimes even virtuous:
– excessive self-criticism,
– tendency to sacrifice oneself,
-entering and maintaining toxic relationships (in which one is always in the role of the sufferer).
And you, do you notice anything in yourself that might indicate you need to observe yourself more closely? Do you often use the word trauma? Share it in the comments!