Updated: Aug 30, 2022
What does trauma informed mean and why do we all need to be aware of it.
Trauma-informed means there is an understanding that most people, if not all have an element of trauma.
Trauma needs to be defined also. Since we are 5 layers of being, we understand that we are not just a physical body and that we can be affected in many ways. The mind, the body, the spirit, etc. We also understand there are different types of traumas. AG Mohan calls traumas, latent impressions. These are impressions that are left on your body, mind, spirit, etc after an event.
Trauma can be as small as a cut on the skin, someone stepping on your toe, the loss o a loved one, illness, blunt force trauma to the head, bullying, rape, a chemical attack on the body, an emotional trauma, a spiritual attack or trauma you have witnessed.
So defining trauma really helps us to understand that at some stage in our lives, we will experience trauma. The thing that needs to be understood is that these traumas are all valid and their intensity may be felt differently depending on the individual. Not everyone will feel or experience the same trauma in the same way.
Understanding this, allows us to have empathy for another person, for what they have experienced, even when we do not see it, particularly as a trauma.
So if we can agree that we have all experienced trauma to some degree or another, then what does that actually mean as we try to navigate this world that we live in on a day-to-day basis?
Consider this for a moment. We can only respond from a place of our own level of understanding at any moment. So if you have experienced trauma, it is likely, unless you have done significant work around it, that you will be triggered by other people's words, actions, or even experiences around the theme of your trauma.
This is happening in all of our relationships, in workplaces, schools, the military, etc.
I actually had a client whose child's teacher told her that her son was chubby and she didn't particularly like him. He was in grade 2. I told the mother to tell the teacher that it wasn't her job to like him, it was her job to teach him.
This is a great example of the teacher's trauma, perhaps she had been chubby and bullied as a child, and had an aversion to chubby children. She may also have had a misguided attitude to the concept of this and that. People are often stuck in the attachment to this or that, as they feel safe making a stand. Most will call these boundaries. Yet boundaries created out of trauma are no boundaries at all, they are limiting beliefs.
When I was 7 years old, my father, 35, had a cerebral hemorrhage, and he very nearly died. The doctors told him he was not able to lift anything heavy, become stressed, drink alcohol, exert himself or he may die. He became very depressed, his world became contracted and small. Thankfully with the love and healing of my mother, he was able to release himself from this trauma and actually went on to live until the age of 83, and yes he did all the things he was not supposed to.
I know others who have taken the doctor's advice and lived very small and fearful lives.
It is important for us as partners to see the traumas that we bring to our relationships. It is also important for workers, bosses, and parents to make sure we are not responding to our trauma. When we respond from a place of strength, when our traumas have been integrated, we are far less triggered and much better able to regulate our reactions and responses.
Over activity is a sure sign that there has been deep trauma and the trauma is yet to be integrated.
The most important work we can do is to love our shadow side and to allow us to accept and not attach to the darkness as our path. The darkness is the path of resistance. It causes and keeps us in stuckness.
The Light is the path of least resistance. So find your darkness, bring it to the light, integrate it, and live a beautiful life.