Part 2: This PTSD Symptom Is Killing You and No One Is Talking About It
A Follow-Up to the Now-Viral Article About the Effects of Victimhood in Recovering from Trauma
Here are some of the things I wish I said in the original article:
Everyone Has Trauma and Mine Is No Different Than Yours
I don’t think anyone escapes childhood without trauma. I mean that technically.
I don’t think you become your own person until you’re aware that something can hurt you. For many people, the first taste of trauma is being smacked on the ass by the Doctor who delivered us or being denied our mother’s breast when we’re hungry.
That’s the first time there is a self, the one who feels the pain, and an other, the one who inflicted it. Before that, we were one with our mothers and maybe even one with the Universe.
The events that cause that separation? That’s trauma.
Trauma creates our perceptions and our perceptions create the world around us. Who we are, who other people are, the nature of reality, all those are perceptions informed by trauma.
We all have that.
Many people reached out after my last article and shared their stories. Many felt it necessary to say something to the effect of “This terrible thing happened to me and I recognize my story in yours even though I’m not a Veteran and even though I’ve never been to war.”
I’ve said this many times before but it bears repeating: There is no hierarchy of trauma.
Gabor Mate said it best:
“Trauma has absolutely nothing to do with what happened to you, it has everything to do with what happened in you.”
There are different causes of trauma.
Some are easier to talk about. A car accident is more socially acceptable to disclose than a sexual assault, for instance. If my Veteran status bears any difference, it’s that the kind of trauma I got is more socially acceptable. It’s easier to talk about. People recognize and understand war trauma. There’s less stigma around it.