What is childhood trauma? Why are individuals afraid to talk about trauma or seek help? What are the long-term consequences of trauma?
In my last blog, I discussed and defined my resiliency as the ability to persevere in spite of my situations. Many of my childhood and young adult situations have not been pleasant. At one point or another, many people have been forced to endure some sort of traumatic event in their lives. I remember witnessing or being the victim of traumatic situations that at the time I thought was “normal.” It was a cultural norm for me to observe or be a victim of emotional, physical or mental abuse. Typically, individuals are a product of their environment. Unfortunately, it was not until I was a young adult when I realized that my life was not normal, it was in fact, traumatic. Trauma is the emotional, physical, or mental abuse when a person feels overwhelmed by an event or circumstance. Feelings from the event affect the brain, body and the body’s response to stress. I believe as time progressed, I cognitively grew adept to trauma. As situations compound, we can develop a “business as usual” attitude towards trauma and not address the issue emotionally and mentally. Sound familiar?
There are many variations of trauma to include:
Childhood Traumatic Grief
Community, School, and Domestic Violence
Abuse (Physical, Sexual, Neglect)
To know me as a child/young adult, no one would expect that many aspects of my life were traumatic. My trauma didn’t have a look; it was more so a behavior. My experience with trauma impacted my school performance, moods, intrusive thoughts, practical decision-making skills, distrust of others, adolescent pregnancy…I could fill this page with my behaviors. Back then, mental health was not an option, only perseverance, and thankfully, I learned to overcome my past. Mental health was not an everyday topic in my community, yet through natural attraction, I chose this as my career. I am blessed to have made it this far in my life with the many dreams and goals I have accomplished, along with being the spouse of my Navy man! But I know if I were given the opportunity to seek mental health early on, I would have returned to a healthy and hopeful individual early on in life.
I once said, “when you can relate, you can connect.” I am relatable because of my past experiences. My job is to be the voice for children and their families when they are faced with adversity. I educate my community on the impact of trauma and trauma-informed care. Have you heard of the (Adverse Childhood Experience) ACE study? It is a 10-item self-report measure that identifies childhood experience of abuse and neglect. I will attach the link for you or a loved one to complete the assessment. When we know better, we have hopes to do better. Let’s not pretend that trauma isn’t real. Unaddressed trauma can affect not only mental but also physical health. Complete the assessment (linked below) and speak with a trusted mental health professional or your primary care physician. https://www.ncjfcj.org/sites/default/files/Finding%20Your%20ACE%20Score.pdf
I want to thank each of you for following me on my journey as I tell my story, with hopes of promoting positive social change. I also would like to thank Top 100 Military Wife Blogs list for featuring me on their site. Check them out and subscribe https://blog.feedspot.com/military_wife_blogs/
You are resilient! Stay encouraged!