3 Things To Know About Sneaky Trauma
Greetings, dear inner explorers! We're going to be answering the question, "Do I have sneaky trauma?"
Now, what is sneaky trauma?
I would put trauma into two categories.
I sometimes call it trauma with a big T, which is the trauma that we're all familiar with. These are terrible things that are traumatic in life—being abused, getting in an accident. It could be something that happens physically or interpersonally.
There's a lot of things and there's not usually a lot of question on whether that's traumatic. Getting attacked or raped or hurt by someone is very traumatic. Nobody disputes that.
Where we get into more of a gray zone and because now trauma has become much more of a buzz word, maybe outside of the therapeutic realm into maybe a little bit more of mainstream, or at least the new age mainstream, is this question of trauma with a little T.
Trauma with a little T is what I sometimes call sneaky trauma.
It is something that affects the system in a "traumatic way", but we don't think about it as trauma. So we dismiss it. The problem with that is that it's still hindering the way that we are living it.
Sneaky trauma can be a problem when it comes to our own personal and spiritual growth, our relationships, and just being successful in life as a kind of very simple definition.
We could say that in a way trauma is any time that we are forced to be separated from our sense of safety. That can mean a lot of things.
Obviously in the big T category there are things that might have been physically safe, but in the little T category, being separated from safety often involves things like beliefs about ourselves or situations that happen that trigger something within ourselves that makes a kind of kink in the Subtle Body (or your energetic system of your mind-body-spirit complex) in a way that screws with how things go smoothly.
That can be screwing with your beliefs about yourself. You've been separated from a maybe more wholesome, more connected belief about your worthiness and what you deserve.
It can be as simple as an offhanded comment that you made, or you heard your parents make as a child.
That wasn't anything that was intended, but the way that it hit your system created a little T trauma.
Some characteristics of the big T trauma, they're usually overt. It's usually a happening or an event. It's often physical, it has strong emotions. These things all leave a mark in the system, especially when the body is involved.
Little T trauma is often a little bit more subtle. It usually involves beliefs that then also lead to a strong emotion that leaves that same kind of kink in the system.
The things that I want you to remember are:
Little T Trauma Is Just As Real As Big T Trauma
Little T trauma is just as impactful to your system. Sometimes more so because it's sneaky. We know when someone goes through a big T traumatic event that they're going to need support and follow up, but if it's a little T and it's a little more sneaky, it might go unnoticed and therefore is still operating in the background.
Remember: little T trauma is just as real as big T trauma because it affects the system in a very similar way.
Don't Identify With Trauma But Also Do Not Dismiss It
Number two key point is to not identify with trauma but also not dismiss it. We want to avoid wearing the trauma as a badge about our new definition of ourselves.
"I'm a traumatized person."
"This happened to me, now I'm altered forever."
"I'm never going to be the same."
"I'm somehow broken."
We don't want to identify with any of the traumas in that particular way and we also don't want to dismiss it, especially when it comes to little T trauma.
Because here's the thing, little T trauma doesn't always make sense when you uncover it. Maybe through mind body methods like in some of my somatic trainings, yoga, and mindfulness.
If something comes up and you notice, "wow, that might be a little T trauma stuck in my system", there's a habit of the mind to judge it and say, "well, that's not logical", or "that's not what that person meant" or "that shouldn't have gotten encoded in my system that way".
One of the important things to do when it comes to little T trauma is to just recognize it and not identify with it, but also not dismiss it. If it shows up in your body, it is asking for you to turn towards it and to help it be released.
When I say shows up in your body, it could be in your body, in your mind. When it shows up in your awareness, it means it has something for you. So don't dismiss it as well.
"I'm over that."
Oh my goodness! If I had a quarter for every time I heard someone that I'm working with say, "no, no, that happened, but I'm over it."
You're not over it until your body says that you're over it.
Trauma Is Only A Layer Over Your True Identity
Number three thing that I want you to take away is that trauma is always, no matter how difficult, how destructive it seemed to your life, big T or little T trauma, is only a layer over your true identity.
This is where the question and the discussion on trauma brings us to the more spiritual side of trauma. I already told you that trauma, we could say as a definition, is anytime you were separated from safety and in a deeper, more spiritual context, we could say that it's any time you got separated from who and what you think you really are.
The truth is can't be separated from who and what you really are. You are inherently divine in this concept of yourself over top.
This is a non-dualist kind of perspective of spirituality that I'm giving you, but no matter what your spiritual beliefs, I want you to remember that whatever has happened to you, that trauma is still just laid over top of who and what you actually are.
It's just something that's happened to your mind-body-spirit mechanism that needs a little reconnecting and things to help the system renormalize and come back to its working template.
I would love to be of service to you on your personal and spiritual growth path. I am wishing you great things!