30 inner-self observations about Trauma

“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.

  1. Trauma is never being able to see my whole self

  2. Trauma is a million broken reflections of me

  3. Trauma is invisibility

  4. Trauma is the hurt of a social promise broken

  5. Trauma is feeling guilty for protecting self

  6. Trauma is an alienation of the self

  7. Trauma is seeing myself from a distance

  8. Trauma is like being in exile from myself

  9. Trauma is trying to find me in other’s faces

  10. Trauma is the inability to see my own reflections

  11. Trauma is being broken and acting like not

  12. Trauma is being guided by other’s reactions to Who I am

  13. Trauma is operating from a place of brokenness

  14. Trauma is fragmentation

  15. Trauma is like experiencing day and night at the same time

  16. Trauma is a broken connection to myself

  17. Trauma is reliving the original pain every day

  18. Trauma is seeing myself through a broken mirror

  19. Trauma is being flooded with emotions

  20. Trauma is entrapment

  21. Trauma is voices shouting at you all the time

  22. Trauma is a constant reminder of the threat

  23. Trauma is a bodily reaction to an unhealed wound

  24. Trauma is the scar that hasn’t healed inside

  25. The opposite of Trauma is safety

  26. Trauma is the constant feeling of losing control of myself

  27. Trauma is feeling stuck forever in a helpless state of horror

  28. Trauma is the visceral reaction to the pain I had years ago

  29. Trauma is the constant fear of losing sight of myself

  30. The oppostie of Trauma is inner harmony