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 sleeper trauma or whatever name you want to give it. After last weeks episode I felt like I should explain what I meant with that term, as I created it.
The sleeper trauma is one of 3 shapes the trauma usually takes… in my experience so far. I might learn of new shapes in the future. As far as I know I am at the moment the only one trying to give the trauma visual shapes.
So let us start with the sneaky one that is the sleeper trauma.
I have to admit, I am still a bit in a sour mood because of this little bastard. I am not sure if you noticed, but during the last months I had to deal with clearing 1 PTSD and 1 C-PTSD. If not a bit more.
Some things became only clear with a bit of distance. This made me count the traumas separately. Since then I noticed how they were shaped differently - as in their impact, what areas they affect and how they behave.
I had mentioned, that the first big revelation to me was, that the trauma isn’t one big block, but has many minor smaller parts, that can be taken out one by one. Which is the baseline how all of this works.
But the more I talked with other people and helped other people with their trauma and revisiting my own, I realized that there are significant differences between the traumas. The other two I likely revisit next week.
This week is about the sneaky one, that flies under most radars and is extremely hard to pinpoint. It is the trauma that just scratches you, but it never enough that you can justify any action.
So first we talk why I call it sleeper trauma and then how we can try to find it.
Why sleeper trauma?
This trauma truly behaves like a sleeper agent - which is why I called it that way. This trauma you won’t notice. It is completely interwoven with you - but it still sabotages you. Like it is poisoning you.
Not enough to kill you, but just enough to slow you down, hinder your happiness and making everything you do harder. It is almost worst to remove it, because it is like ripping off a huge part of your skin.
Where in the middle of it, you might ask yourself rightfully, why did I do it in the first place? Because the problem is, as much as it doesn’t poison you enough, it poisons you too much for you to ignore it.
But because it is like a sleeper agent, it is perfectly blended in and if you don’t start looking for that sleeper agent - you never find it. The sleeper trauma is shape wise pretty much completely flat.
Unlike the deep cut severely traumatic experiences are, this one follows the rule of death by a thousand cuts - who barely cut at all. This is why the trauma is more shaped like a German pancake.
But I didn’t want to call it pancake trauma, as first pancakes usually don’t kill you and secondly that might give some people the wrong impression what this is about.
It is about you suffering for a very long time, from many light hidden attack, that weave this trauma, that now later in life still make you suffer and you can’t pin point at one thing as a reason why you feel how you feel.
How do we find the sleeper trauma?
So, how do we find it? It is, as just described, hard to find and sadly rather subtle. It also doesn’t have the classic trigger with flashbacks and the like. It is not a lot of emotions stacked up, because it is many small things.
Therefor you will rarely get an emotional outburst for it and also the symptoms are rather different for this one. It is hard to give general leads on this trauma, but there a few things.
For me, the most clear one is following the trace left by tears. What do I mean by that? You might have already run into that, but is there a specific topic, music, theme, scene or the like, that makes you cry?
Like that tear streaming down your cheeks of way? And you feel a kind of very deep sadness? Almost overwhelming? It can be a completely normal thing to cry for, like a goodbye scene or any tragic scene or the like.
In general if a specific setting/theme/whatever keeps making you reliably cry, that means there is something buried. You might want to start digging.
The other ways are less clear. But I also would go with memories, that somehow seem to keep popping into your head. They are usually not special, it might even appear completely ordinary.
But they keep popping up in your memory. Seems often always kind of random. But somehow you keep seeing it - maybe it even rubbed you the wrong way.
The best way remains to be alert and just watch out for unusual behavior.
I recently saw an ad for designer brand face masks - obviously fake. Still, it is a thing here. People start designing their products with masks now and other create masks fitting for each outfits.
So now, besides fitting your shoes, handbag and so on, you now also can match your face masks fitting to it. Not sure what to think about that trend, but at least people finding creative ways to deal with it.
It is at the moment pretty much impossible to get fabric masks - since they became law and proven very effective. As it was to be expected. The statement of the WHO emergencies director doesn’t inspire much hope.
Dr. Mike Ryan said that the virus might never go away, as did others, and we will just have to adapt to it - like we did with the others. I have to say, I fear so too, especially since we already got 3 different strands.
It will - of course - never be as chaotic at the start, with the lock downs and the like, and of course there will be medications, but with the virus gotten this much out of control, that might be a possibility.
I will be honest, but I didn’t saw these wide reaching consequences coming. Nonetheless I hope for the best and everyone stays as safe as they can.
That was it for todays episode. I hope you found it helpful, if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast, information regarding therapy you can find under johannadraconis.com/Therapy and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time!