What’s Your Trauma

Hi friends, I’m back with another mental health topic. The world is a funny place these days with all the mental health matters posts, sayings, cute memes, and hashtags. While that may not seem funny, it is odd that despite all the attention we seem to be more mean than ever! Keyboard courage rears its ugly head often and we hear about children being bullied on social media apps, we see adults posting awful things too – seriously there is no shortage of hate. But ask anyone and I bet they’ll tell you that mental health is important. I believe the world at large is uneducated when it comes to what someone who is struggling really looks like. The truth? They look like me and you. We all have baggage, we all have our issues, we all have things that ‘trigger’ us. This begs the question, what’s your trauma?

What’s Your Trauma

Even though the word trauma means different things to different people, the honest to goodness definition is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. Therein lies the trouble; to one person an experience may be just another event while to someone else it can be quite traumatizing. Even worse, if never processed, some of us will re-live the trauma over and over again. It begins to taint our every action. It serves a purpose and we carry it with us, reliving the trauma over and over again.

Trauma is deeply personal. We are all created differently so naturally we all react in our own way. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to tell someone to ‘not let it bother you’ – it is well meaning but it’s just not that simple. The comment is well intentioned and comes from a caring place (most of the time) but it just isn’t helpful. Trust me, I am guilty of saying it myself so I know how easy it is to do!

Sometimes our trauma is something that happened to us as a child. It might be being made fun of; being teased; not getting the love we needed; neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and the list goes on and on. It might have been something that left us feeling deeply embarrassed or humiliated.

How to Know If You’ve Been Traumatized

There are certain events that we know are likely to cause trauma. Surviving a mass shooting for example is traumatizing. But what about the smaller, more mundane events that impact your life in a negative way? Certainly there are degrees of trauma BUT I would like to say that ANYTHING you re-live over and over again, something you cannot seem to get past is trauma. You may deal with it for a few weeks or months, even years.

Some of us will carry this trauma with us and it will color all we do. It will alter our behavior, our relationships, and our personality. You know? There are people in your life right now who you think are irritating or difficult and I bet you anything they have likely had some kind of trauma.

What to Do

I wish there was an easy fix for dealing with trauma but there is not. However, I do believe that once you are aware and you know what bothers you, well, then you can do something. Acknowledging that you have experienced trauma is the first step.

For those people in your life that seem to suck the life out of you, are hard to relate to, make poor decisions, are drug or alcohol dependent – does knowing they have likely experienced trauma make it easier to accept them? Probably not. It would be nice if it did; we all need a little grace, don’t we? We all need acceptance, right? It’s easier said then done.

If you are dealing with a friend or family member who clearly is suffering with a mental health issue, I see you. I hear you. I feel you. I know what that is like. I have people in my own life who will not get help, who believe counseling isn’t valuable, who are afraid to face their issues. These people want a ‘pass’ all the time. Because they have experienced X, Y, or Z they feel entitled to behave a certain way. I don’t know about you but I have a hard time having these people close to me. I have to make a conscious effort to limit my time with these people.

Why is This Important?

The point I hope I am making is that not everyone has experienced big trauma but we all have experiences that have left an imprint on our lives. They have changed how we behave. We don’t need to wait for a big diagnosis to know someone is struggling with their mental health. We should assume everyone is. That’s right, let’s assume everyone has a struggle or is fighting a battle we can’t see. Maybe then we can choose our words more kindly. Maybe then we won’t lash out. Talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words. Rather than just saying mental health matters let’s just be nice!!!!

Recently a YouTuber I enjoyed watching and listening to made some big changes and introduced a pricey patreon page she is launching. It’s $25 a month – which is quite steep. While I am certainly not paying $25 a month, I made the decision on my own and felt no need to tell her that in the comment section when she made the announcement. However, MANY of her subscribers did feel the need to voice their displeasure. They called her greedy, money hungry, etc. The comments were pretty mean. I can only imagine how she feels reading them.

At the end of the day it’s nice to be important but more important to be nice. We all have trauma. Some of us have moved on, we’ve let it shape us and make us stronger. Others are unable or unwilling to let it go. Find out what’s your trauma and ask yourself what camp you fall into. If you are still carrying it with you, I hope you’ll do the work that needs to be done to let it go and put it in perspective. I am not saying you will forget about it but the hope is that when it comes up it won’t have the same effect. This is a necessary step in living the life you want.

Since I know these are sensitive topics, please feel free to email me directly if you have questions about this topic. I will respond, promise!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, I appreciate you being here. Please consider signing up to receive my posts by email and following me on Instagram and Pinterest.

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