Most people believe trauma to be a catastrophic event, such as abuse, war, or a terrible accident. Understanding that trauma is individualized to your life experiences, and isn’t always a singular event is important in recognizing there are different types of trauma. Trauma isn’t always direct and obvious.
Neurologist, Robert Scaer, defines trauma as, “any negative life event that occurs in a state of relative helplessness.”
Dr. Nicole LaPera states, “Our attachments in our earliest years set the groundwork for our subconscious beliefs.” And our subconscious remembers everything. You may not be able to actively recall those memories; however, your subconscious brain and your body remembers. Hence why we can be triggered and have no idea why.
Our early childhood development, starting from infancy, requires key emotional needs. When these emotional needs aren’t met consistently and or we live in a chronic state of stress, this creates a trauma response and impacts our foundation for attachment and emotional wellness. Our emotional needs also directly connect to our physical wellness, too.
Most of us can relate to the above definitions during our early childhood years when we were at the mercy of our parents’ / caregivers’ choice, such as, our environment, our emotional and spiritual development, or what we were exposed to. In childhood, we are dependent on the adults in our life and thus “helpless”.
Early childhood trauma is often misunderstood, ignored, or overlooked. In fact, many people have expressed having “normal childhoods” because they haven’t identified the emotional trauma they endured.
Can you relate to any of the following?
- “I’ve always had anxiety.”
- “I don’t know how to relax.”
- “People say I have a bad memory or I’m forgetful.”
- “I have gaps of time where I can’t recall any memories.”
- “I avoid conflict.”
- “I have a hard time saying no or feel guilty when I do.”
- “I don’t know what I like.”
- “I have difficulty concentrating.”
- “I don’t like the quiet.”
- “I get depressed when I am bored.”
- “I’m busy all the time.”
The above are outcomes of early childhood trauma. They became ways to adapt and cope in your environment. It served a purpose then– it no longer serves you now.
If you think you may have unresolved trauma, click the button below to schedule an Initial Assessment with one of our counselors to review your history, explore your current symptoms or areas of concerns, and identify goals for therapy.