017. We All Have Trauma Stories
We all have stories of trauma.
Trauma is often categorized by big T trauma and little t trauma. Big T trauma is normally associated with serious injury, sexual violence, of life-threatening experiences. Little t trauma would be considered non-life threatening experiences, emotional abuse, and loss of significant relationships.
While those two categories are helpful from a macro perspective, we often use those two categories to shame ourselves and our experiences. I can’t tell you the number of times a client would share with me an incredibly heart-breaking and tragic story that feel in either category only to be followed by something like:
“But other people have it so much worse.”
“At least I didn’t get raped.”
“I shouldn’t even be complaining, I had great parents who loved me so much.”
“It happened so long ago that it shouldn’t even be a big deal.”
Here’s the thing about trauma…
Trauma has little to do with the actual even and everything to do with how we perceive the trauma.
What so many women neglect to consider is that the “return on investment” of even an unwanted sexual grope on the streets by a stranger can be lifelong.
Whether or not we give emotional credence to our trauma, we store those experiences in our body.
There’s a parable that Jesus tells in Luke 15 about how any shepherd who had 100 sheep and noticed one was missing would leave the ninety-nine to go out and find the lost one. And the shepherd would rejoice and call for celebration when he found that sheep.
That parable is how I conceptualize trauma healing.
When we are ready, we have to go into the wilderness of our hearts and find those lost, abandoned, and neglected parts of our story, particularly the neglected trauma stories and reclaim them.
We are invited to do the incredibly courageous work of reintegrating them into our larger narrative with kindness and care. The good news is that our human body and soul is incredibly resilient. Once opened up in a safe place, your trauma always wants to move towards healing.
Your trauma story matters. Healing is not an overnight spectacle. As Jeff Buckley notoriously sang, “It’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah.”
Praying courage, kindness, and hope on your journey out into the wilderness to bring all parts of your story back home.