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Trauma – Understanding people who are living with it

Source | | Kanmani | Writer & Psychotherapist

“As a child, I always wondered how kids felt happy to go back home or excited that it was a Friday. To me, going back home was like walking into a living nightmare. And Fridays and weekends still get me anxious.”

“My body remembers things my mind doesn’t. A certain perfume, any middle-aged man with a French beard, a lullaby, almost anything can trigger the most distressful feelings.”

“I remember the exact moment I disassociated from my body. I saw my 7 year old body from a distance, violated. Nothing but an object. I am 58, and I am not yet entirely in my body.”

“4 of my marriages failed—cold, emotionally unavailable, selfish—these were the words used to describe me as a man. It took me years of therapy to realise, that being emotionally cut off was the only reason I survived years of childhood neglect.” 

These are words from individuals who live with trauma. 

What is trauma?

Trauma is an emotional response to any event that is physically or psychologically threatening.

According to APA, “Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event – like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea.”

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