Most of the things that shaped you and impacted you were not necessarily obvious.
Many times, the more subtle and covert a traumatic experience has been, the bigger the impact –I would say even bigger than those experiences that were obvious.
Covert trauma encompasses those forms of trauma that are psychosocially related, including minimization, household secret-keeping, household instability and dysfunction, and household tension. Also, events that can affect healthy childhood development, such as frequent relocation.
Some of the themes I’ve noticed in my private practice are:
✽ Parentification: where the child ends up feeling responsible for the happiness and livelihood of his or her parents, resulting in heightened levels of anxiety, a profound sense of emptiness, depressive features, and an inability to recognize and tend to his or her own needs.
✽ Verbal abuse and threatening: exposure to verbal abuse in childhood has been linked to maladaptive anger-coping behaviors, conduct problems, psychological distress, diminished self-worth, depression, anxiety, and social withdrawal.
✽ Gaslighting: involves manipulation to cause another person to question his or her own memories, sanity, or perceptions of reality. Its mind-altering impact can generate a sense of traumatic betrayal and a loss of interpersonal power, resulting in anxiety, even panic.
✽ Bullying: it has been associated with externalized symptoms of psychological distress, adulthood obesity, unemployment, underemployment, low wage earning in adulthood, sadness, low self-esteem, embarrassment, fear, anger, psychological pain, loneliness, powerlessness, helplessness, confusion, inflammation and metabolic syndrome.
Trauma can happen to all of us, at any given time in our lives. And it can take time to recognize and understand what's happened and what it means for you.
Trauma Healing focuses on learning to notice your implicit responses instead of making meaning, storytelling, reacting, or interpreting the traumatic experience.
A traumatic experience doesn’t define you. Its effects are not meant to last a lifetime. Healing trauma is possible.
You are not alone 💫.
~ L, .