For First Time Visitors

If you are a first time visitor to this blog, I invite you to start from the beginning, especially if you are unfamiliar with the potential emotional impact of long-term child abuse.

Trigger caution to unhealed survivors!

Understanding the Incomprehensible

Children of incest or long-term sexual abuse grow up to be wounded adults with complicated emotional issues. Unfortunately, some symptoms are misinterpreted or often dismissed as "crazy", only serving to maintain a tormented victim status. We, as a society, have the power to change this dynamic. Each of us can make a difference.

Aug 22, 2008

Trauma is in the eye of the beholder

A traumatic event is one that overwhelms an individual's senses. Two stand out from my lifetime so far: the assassination of President Kennedy and 9/11. Numbing, shock, remembering the moment we saw or heard in clear detail. On the other end of the trauma spectrum is whatever is viewed as traumatic by a child. One child may find any doctor visit traumatic but that would not induce dissociation. An early childhood injury requiring long-term hospitalization or long-term confinement or serious medical conditions requiring many doctor/hospital interventions might lead to DID. Medically induced DID, is not as common as DID resulting from traumatic physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse.

A fire, car accident, parent/sibling death may be viewed as traumatic by one child but possibly only very sad or scary by another. A moment internalized as trauma is preserved like a photograph with senses. Often anyone experiencing a traumatic incident will remember sights, sounds, smells, colors, particular objects, and/or textures (how something feels physically--rough, soft, slimy, scratchy). The emotions of the trauma also become locked along with the sensory experience in what I call a trauma bubble--a bubble wrapped in amnesia.