Knowledge is power. When I started Synchronicity Revealed-Inspired Writings, my purpose was to share and inspire. Thanks for going on this journey with me. After three years, my mission continues, even though my topics have expanded beyond analyzing the Hero's Journey and the philosophies of Carl Jung to include book reviews. Recently, I pondered on the impact of trauma on the human experience. At the library, I discovered Waking The Tiger: Healing Trauma by Dr. Peter A. Levine with Ann Frederick, which describes trauma from a mental and physical perspective. Let's discuss…
Per Dr. Levine, "Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence (Levine, 1997)." We all have experienced, directly or indirectly, a form of trauma in our life.
Merriam-Webster defines Trauma as:
- a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury
- an emotional upset
- an agent, force or mechanism that causes trauma
- an injury (such as a wound) to living tissue caused by an extrinsic agent
Physical vs Emotional Trauma
Physical trauma, in some cases, is easier to heal than emotional trauma. A few weeks ago, I cut my finger. I washed my hands and covered my finger with a bandage. After a couple of days, my finger healed without scars. In contrast, it has taken me weeks to get over the death of a loved one.
In her book, Healing Journeys, Linda Daniels shares how trauma survivors learned to recover and create a new life for themselves. The journeys are diverse; no two people heal the same way.
Adverse Childhood Experiences
Our childhood experiences have an important impact on our wellbeing throughout our lives and can influence how we process traumatic events. The CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, which was conducted from 1995-1997, was an investigation of childhood abuse, neglect, household challenges, later-life health and well-being (CDC, n.d.).
The ACE Pyramid is a conceptual framework of the ACE study:
- abuse and neglect
- familial violence
- parental separation
- abject poverty
- generational trauma
- being undermined
- witnessing violence
- serious medical procedures
- physical injuries
- "Trauma has the potential to be one of the most significant forces for psychological, social and spiritual awakening and evolution"
- "...trauma is not, will not, and can never be fully healed until we also address the essential role played by the body"
- "...the study of wild animal behavior is essential to the understanding and healing of human trauma"
- "Traumatic symptoms are not caused by the "triggering" event itself. They stem from the frozen residue of energy that has not been resolved and discharged; this residue remains trapped in the nervous system where it can wreak havoc on our bodies and spirits"
- Section 1: The Body As Healer - how post-traumatic symptoms begin
- Section 2: Symptoms of Trauma - the intricate elements of traumatic reactions
- Section 3: Transformation and Renegotiation - ways to transform personal or societal traumas
- Section 4: First Aid for Trauma - methods to prevent trauma from occurring after an accident
Daniels, L. (2004). Healing Journeys, How Trauma Survivors Learn to Live Again. New Horizon Press.
Yellow Dandelions Retrieved from https://p1.pxfuel.com/preview/196/409/165/dandelions-yellow-healing.jpg
Understanding the Teen Brain. In University of Rochester Medical Center. Retrieved from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=3051