We are all gifted with Resilience. This ability to bounce back after taking a hit is deeply embedded in Human Nature. Most of us view the challenges that comprise a vital life as growth enhancing, enlarging us and contributing to our maturation and adaptation to life. We look forward to measuring ourselves against our challenges and through this process discover who we are.
Trauma is defined as overwhelming stress. It is a condition where the resources we can bring to a situation just aren’t sufficient to cope with the stress inherent in it. In a crisis situation, we may find ourselves going through the motions in a state where part of us is observing the other, active part. We don’t experience the fear, etc, until after we’ve played our role in responding to the event. But then, with the inevitability of a breaking wave, it catches up with us. Trauma Pings our nervous system, tapping it like a tuning fork. The ensuing vibration can last for years, leading to all types of maladaptive efforts to cope with it. Substance abuse, depression, anxiety, compulsive behavior, isolation, withdrawal, can in almost all instances be traced to either a single or a series of traumatic experiences. Childhood in particular is a feeding ground for trauma, because children lack the cognitive capacity to grasp what is happening. Children always blame themselves, and the cycle of self-loathing and inescapable pain often starts in childhood.