Today I had another saddening conversation with someone who was convinced that “only abuse, neglect, and maltreatment” are trauma–nothing else. I am saddened because that leaves so many of us out. And I know my stuff was showing (for those who remember, it’s kind of like “having your slip show”) when I spoke with a woman in Georgia whose organization worked with combat vets who had PTSD and TBI.
What makes us so protective in this way? What prevents us from recognizing it’s not the name of the event,
it’s the impact that makes it traumatic? Part of me wanted to shriek that I was diagnosed with PTSD before
those folks were even thought of. Then I was embarrassed for thinking that.
When did I sign up for the Olympiad in trauma? I didn’t realize there was a competition for who had the worst or the most or the awfulest.
Trauma-responsivity means including–and I am talking to the mirror, too–those who seem to collect stars for each traumatic event, as if a gold cup were awarded to the one who suffered the most, who was wronged the worst.
It also means letting go of the need to compete for the titles you never wanted to have.
Help me–What am I missing? Am I just out of touch here?