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 trauma again, this time about where to separate them and when they are actually belong together. Because these guys just won’t come in matching colors. Sarcasm set aside it is difficult to distinguish them.
It is important though, because this way you know what kind of trauma you are dealing with and how to treat them. So let us talk about it.
Sometimes I miss the time, when I had the position, that no matter the trauma, I either had C-PTSD or I was well. I didn’t saw a point in distinguishing between the traumas, as it was all PTSD either way - so, why bother?
But sadly the more I studied PTSD and the more I discovered, the more I lost oversight and had to admit, that I at least had to separate the different traumas. It was otherwise just a huge jungled up mess.
And the Achilles heel of PTSD is as soon it is fully exposed - it is at its weakest. It is a creature that hides in the darkness and strikes from there, but doesn’t really has much of a defense besides that.
That is why spreading the information and gaining knowledge is SO important. Though I will admit that at one point I just stopped counting, because the list was already too ridiculously long and I no longer really needed it.
But I do know the struggles of disentangling your own experiences and trying to figure out where and how to place them. I plan a chart, hopefully also a flow chart and the like for this reason - among other things.
Usually the trauma get separated by the time that passed between them and then what form the trauma took. So we first talk about common vs sporadic and then how different form of abuse result in different form of traumas.
Common vs sporadic
So let us start the common vs sporadic segment by repeating what was said in episode 95: A trauma is as long as the situation lasts - even if it takes years, even decades. Also multiple traumas can happen at the same time.
More to that in the second part. We are solely focusing on the time aspect for now. So the trauma lasts as long the situation holds on and you are affected by it actively. Like being in an abusive relationship.
But what about the abuse you might wonder? You usually don’t experience the abuse non stop. This is where we need to separate between common and sporadic. Which is interestingly enough depending on the interpretation of your brain.
But in general, if it happens on a regular basis it is common. If the insults come daily, it is common. If the violence outburst are here and there - then it is sporadic. And would just be added to the cluster that is an abusive relationship.
I would even go so far to say that once a week is borderline to sporadic. The key question is, do YOU remember a type of abuse as being a regularly and common experience? Or is it more something that happened sporadicly?
If it is the second, than each sporadic event counts as its own thing. Be it a small ball trauma or a small ball in the cluster.
Different form of abuse = different form of traumas
Which leads us to the second segment - in which we talk about the different form of abuse that result in different form of traumas. We first separate between a dangerous situation and actions of a person.
A life threatening situation is traumatic and as longer it lasts the bigger the trauma gets. As long as the threat remains the situation is still ongoing as is the traumatic experience. The same goes for abusive relationships. Or any traumatic situation.
If we stay in the abusive relationship, then having your life under threat at all times and the abusive relationship itself are two different traumas. If it is an occasional threat to the own life or yours it belongs either to the trauma or is its own separate thing.
There is a different trauma for violent abuse as it is for a verbal one. They each belong to their own category. As does neglect and abandonment. Everything that damages the soul in a different way is its own trauma - even if both ways are via violence.
A slap on the hand and a punch on the face are very different levels of threat - on a baseline. In context a slap on the hand can be a death threat. So key in the separation of the violence, is, the theme they fall under. Which once again your brain decides.
Examples of themes are life threatening, threatening, reminder to stay in line, punishment, part of the daily interactions and so many more. The important part is how you perceived those actions against you and if you can put them into one group.
So to recap: We separate traumas depending how much times passed between experiences and under which theme these experiences happened.
That was it for todays episode, I hope you found it helpful. Hope you are safe and well. And as always, 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.