Episode 34 - Could I have a trauma?

Intro
Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
In this episode we will talk about the possibility of having a trauma - as this is not as obvious as some people might think. You know when you have a cut wound, you can easily look for it and see it.
But everything we can’t see is difficult to be sure about, as we are very limited in our ways to find out if our assumption is correct. Often we also lack the self confidence. Not surprisingly.
And this question is one of the most trickiest to answer, because it relies on a brutal honest truthful self reflection. That is very difficult, especially if you are already feeling down.
So let us talk about it and shed a bit of light on this situation.

Prelude
The definition of a trauma “that would cause deep disturbance to almost everyone” I always felt was a non answer. What am I supposed to do with that information? Also it is kind of useless with childhood abuse.
I would haves sworn until my 23rd year that what happened to me was completely normal and wouldn’t even had considered, that it could cause a disturbance within ANYONE. I didn’t even consider it worth mentioning.
It was as normal as brushing teeth. Something I was taught not to mention, but was so common it happens in basically every household. You learn what is normal when you are a child. No matter how not normal it is.
For most it seems like that they don’t know they suffered from a trauma until they get the first symptoms of PTSD. Knowing your trauma helps tremendously with your healing process. It is the source of it all.
Otherwise you are guessing until you hit the truth. So let us look into the option of having a trauma. We start with the obvious ones, then we got over the not so obvious ones and a trick to lure the truth out.

The obvious ones
There are some clear cases - luckily. Basically everything dealing with death is a trauma, could be a small easily self solve able trauma, but still a trauma. The closer you were to that person, the bigger the trauma.
Any form of torture of course also immediately counts as one - which I will go deeper into in a later episode. It is not as clear cut as you might think, torture doesn’t just happen in torture champers of dictators.
Also clearly a trauma is any form of regularly (aka not once a year etc.) violence against you. That could be spanking, anything. It might not result in a PTSD - though often trauma smolder below the surface.
Once again, the more regularly and intense, the stronger the trauma. I want to add, that if you are a child, it doesn’t matter if an adults shouts at you or hit you. Both times it is abuse - as both are threatening.
Lastly any tragic experience, be it a car crash, someone having an harmful accident, strong suffering and so on. It doesn’t matter if you only though you were facing death or a lot of suffering. It is a clear trauma.
As a rule of thumb, I would go with anything that you wouldn’t explain to someone who is below twelve years old. Or at least not in blatant terms.

The not so obvious ones
So now let us address the more gray versions of trauma. This is most often trauma that happened in our childhood, emotional abuse, neglect and so on. The ones that happened and you are not really sure.
You might not see it as a trauma because it doesn’t seem significant enough. But a trauma isn’t one thing, it is like building with Lego. The pieces may be small, but they add quickly to a structure.
So if you add daily things happening over a long period of time… and I mean EVERY incident, that is also a trauma. It really doesn’t need that one big bad thing that happened.
Small things adds up. Like Lego. You don’t have to justify yourself by being traumatized by those many little things. This is not a court, there is no judge. The end sum is important, not the subtotal.
The important question is: Did it hurt you? Did you feel uncomfortable? Or did you even feel horrible afterwards? Did it feel wrong? Was your no ignored? Where your boundaries ignored?
It also doesn’t matter if you where the physical stronger person in that consolation, that doesn’t mean you feelings are invalid. Even if you theoretically could just have dominated them.
There is a good reason there exists the thing called psychological warfare. I feel like most underestimate it’s affect in our every day lives.

Trick to lure the truth out
That is all good and well, but how can you get a bit of a confirmation that there might be something that is… off. This is a little exercise, you need to say it out loud. Not shout it but in a firm voice.
Focus on what you are saying. It is basically a trick to make you catch yourself lying. If the denial is very strong it still might not work, but it is definitely worth a shot. So let’s go.
First “I feel completely save and secure at home”.
Second “I know I can trust my partner and my partner wouldn’t do anything that could harm me”
Third “I know my parents love me and care for my wellbeing.”
Forth “I am at balance and peace with myself”
Fifth “Nothing of my past is burdening myself” - You might have heard it. That statement is not true for me at the moment.
Sixth “I can be myself and express myself like I want”
Seventh “I can look myself in the mirror with clear conscience”
The point of this is to really try to say it… and see if you can even say it. Our language and emotional brain areas are close to one another. So, be honest. Can you make those statements truthfully?
I recommend you continue the line of thought and formulate your own sentences to find out what is going on.

Private Words
I have that little habit of mine to cheer me up - looking at wedding dresses. Yeah, I know I know. But I absolutely love them. There are a piece of art. The amount of work, detail and the creativity.
It is not like I am looking for wedding inspiration myself, as I don’t see it as THE moment of my life. For me it is more about the dresses and how the people feel about it. They are SO happy.
I love that wedding dresses make people happy and beam that happiness on the pictures. I am on the subreddit where people share their pictures of their dresses and much more.
I love how everyone finds something fitting, despite their styles being so different - as is their interpretation of a perfect wedding. I am happy for them and partake a bit in their immense joy.
Always make my heart melt and lightening my mood. A small island of happiness.

Outro
That was it for todays episode. It is rather likely, that I will revisit this topic, as my understanding and knowledge of this topic will surely keep growing.
But I did want to put out this episode, because I think it is really important to know.
So be it for this topic or overall, if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at contactme@johannadraconis.com.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.

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