"Trauma" applies to almost everyone. Most of us can recall uncomfortable times when someone was mean to us, treated us inappropriately, or a time when we failed at something and felt embarrassed or humiliated. These events leave us with unpleasant memories, but usually don't traumatize us. At the other end of the spectrum are are obvious traumas that negatively affect anyone: being beaten as a child, being raped, receiving a terminal diagnosis, witnessing a gruesome injury, or engaging in military combat. And there are other upsetting life events such as being bitten by a dog, involved in a car accident, losing a parent at a young age . . . interestingly, some people endure these traumas with relative ease. Others, however, continue to be reminded of, and even haunted by, the event. Why is this? It depends on several factors: your degree of sensitivity (temperament), how young you were when it happened, whether you were alone, how many times it happened to you, and weather or not the event was life-threatening.
If you continue to get upset over events that happened last week or even decades ago, I want you to know there is nothing wrong with you. You may be a sensitive, empathic person who retains and recalls personally exciting or, in this case, upsetting events more than your thick-skinned, less sensitive peers. Certainly the world would be a better place if it were inhabited by more responsive, understanding, compassionate people. Unfortunately there are some wounds that time can't heal. Waiting it out usually just allows for things like your mood, sleep, thoughts, relationships, and general health to continue to unravel. "So what should I do?, you might ask. I would suggest, since the bag of pain you're likely carrying around with you may be a bit fuller and heavier than most people's, unload it, and free up some energy to invest in joyful activities.
"OK, so how do I do that?" Give me a call. I offer a free phone consultation to help anyone interested in this process decide if now is the right time to address those painful memories, and also if I'm the right person to work with. My phone number: (203) 493-0344. Or you can send me an e-mail: [email protected]