Abuse and Trauma
On many occasions abuse and trauma go hand in hand but there are my things that can cause trauma that are in no way connected to abuse.
Abuse can be defined as;
An intrusion into another person’s private space; be it physical, emotional or mental. And in doing so violating their primary human right to their privacy and over their body, mind and emotions.
It is all too common for victims of child abuse, sexual abuse or those living in emotionally deprived environments to not realise that they are being abused.
They are forced to ‘normalise’ their life by saying “I deserve no better as I am worthless”. Many survivors use psychological coping mechanisms such as passivity, crushing their emotions and dissociating from reality and creating a fantasy life of a better future.
These victims of abuse have developed a hardiness and resilience as they had to become independent quickly to protect themselves. As adults are often decisive, intelligent, quick-witted, amiable, sociable and many are very charismatic.
But for many these are a ‘front’ as they are suffering well hidden psychosomatic symptoms that can result in IBS, high blood pressure, insomnia, chronic pains, migraines or stress.
In a relationship they often have:
- trust issues
- sexual problems
- alcohol/food binging
We all use the word “trauma” in everyday language to mean a highly stressful event that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope.
While I am writing about psychological trauma it’s effects are clearly physiological as well. But it is an individual’s subjective experience that determines whether an event is traumatic or not.
Psychological trauma is the unique to each person’s experience of the event or enduring conditions, in which:
They subjectively perceive how great a threat is to their life, bodily or sanity and if their emotional experience is overwhelming.
Put another way: trauma is the experience of the survivor.
You could have two people, who have the same horrible event happen to them. Person A could be quite traumatised but Person B remains relatively unperturbed.
So, a traumatic event creates a psychological trauma when it overwhelms that person’s ability to cope. They can feel emotionally, cognitively, and physically swamped and unable to cope.
In this introduction to abuse and trauma we can see that abuse and trauma can be connected but trauma can be due to a single one-off event.
Please note. I do not regress people to remember abuse and trauma events, unless someone specifically asks for it. I will use a very radid form of hypnotic regression based on Flourish principles. It does not take several weeks it is normal to complete it in 3-4 sessions over 2 weeks.