“Trauma is what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you” — Dr. Gabor Mate, author of Scattered Minds
Trauma — an important trigger for mental health issues, has been widely discussed in the context of wars, childhood abuse, and natural disasters.
While the concept of trauma is well-known, what is lesser understood is the psychological repercussions in the individual with a traumatized inner-self.
What we all see as social problems today — smoking, drinking, drug addiction, obesity, anger problems, emotional outbursts, violence, etc., many times are coping mechanisms for people to find temporary relief from their traumatized selves.
While the external symptoms of trauma — on how it affects our behaviors have been well-documented, there’s not been much conversation on what kind of debilitating effect trauma has on our inner selves.
How does it feel to be traumatized? What does it feel like to carry the scars of trauma all our lives? How does it debilitate our wellbeing? How does it impact our happiness? These are the questions that we need to ask ourselves if at all we are to find a humane solution to what is called “one of the biggest public health risks in the US”.
As someone who has gone through Trauma and a researcher on the subject, here are thiry of my "inner self" observations of how a traumatized mind perceives and feels.
Trauma is never being able to see my whole self
Trauma is a million broken reflections of me
Trauma is invisibility
Trauma is the hurt of a social promise broken
Trauma is feeling guilty for protecting self
Trauma is an alienation of the self
Trauma is seeing myself from a distance
Trauma is like being in exile from myself
Trauma is trying to find me in other’s faces
Trauma is the inability to see my own reflections
Trauma is being broken and acting like not
Trauma is being guided by other’s reactions to Who I am
Trauma is operating from a place of brokenness
Trauma is fragmentation
Trauma is like experiencing day and night at the same time
Trauma is a broken connection to myself
Trauma is reliving the original pain every day
Trauma is seeing myself through a broken mirror
Trauma is being flooded with emotions
Trauma is entrapment
Trauma is voices shouting at you all the time
Trauma is a constant reminder of the threat
Trauma is a bodily reaction to an unhealed wound
Trauma is the scar that hasn’t healed inside
The opposite of Trauma is safety
Trauma is the constant feeling of losing control of myself
Trauma is feeling stuck forever in a helpless state of horror
Trauma is the visceral reaction to the pain I had years ago
Trauma is the constant fear of losing sight of myself
The oppostie of Trauma is inner harmony