How Does Trauma Affect People?

A traumatic event is like this tree.

It doesn’t matter if it is little t trauma or big T Trauma – trauma is trauma to the person it happened to.

The body goes though the same systems and has the same responses.

There is no scale of relativity when it comes to pain and hurt.

Like me, you may have been walking through your life thinking your past has not affected you.

Like me, you may have thought if you didn’t think about it, it didn’t happen and couldn’t have any impact.

Then one day I collapsed, my body gave out and I was forced to stop and look at my entire life to figure out what on earth had happened and how I got to this place of complete immobility of body & mind.

What I learned was how my past had affected everything about me – inside and out. It affected how I saw people & situations. It affected how I acted and reacted. It affected how I treated others & myself. It affected my confidence and my abilities. It affected my behaviour and my language.

I had been in survival mode for my entire life, so knew no different.  Like this tree I grew and branched out, changed over the seasons of my life.  But I was truly oblivious of the costs of my trauma to me, that had been there all along.

On one hand my survival instinct pushed me to do & achieve far beyond what I may have done otherwise.  My flight response allowed me to travel, change jobs and situations to have some great experiences, but it also had its cost as I was always on the go, both physically and geographically.  My fight response kept me safe, kept people at a distance which was great in the business world, but in my personal world however – I hurt myself and others.  My freeze response kept my inside system the same as it was when I was being hurt – so my system now, didn’t know it had been safe for many many years, and that kept me trapped and scared and seeing the world always from this place first, so I missed a lot.

If you are reading this, perhaps you too are looking at the ways trauma has affected your life. I am writing today to honour you for all the things that you have done to be reading this post.  And also to help you see the skills & strengths that you do have, that you learned along the way.  You are stronger than you think, more beautiful that you know and are so deserving of an abundant life.

Like this tree – we have roots and branches, to grow from and to reach with. We have seasons & changes to go through. But we continue on, no matter what elements have come our way. I love that you are here reading and curious, that means you are doing the work to heal your trauma, heal your past so it doesn’t affect your present and your future. Yes, even just reading this counts…



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