THE IMPACT OF TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE ON OUR LIVES
Sometime we can be struggling with issues that have their roots in traumatic or difficult situations we’ve experienced in our lives, particularly when growing up. With this in mind, and thinking about your path through life, first as a young child, a school child, an adolescent, but then also as an adult which of the statements below apply to you – even if just a little.
As an infant/child (0-5), a school child (6-12), an adolescent (13-18), or an adult:
- I sometimes didn’t feel safe and cared for.
- Somebody in my family had so many problems that there was little left for me.
- I felt that nobody cared whether I lived or died.
- I didn’t have someone to talk with outside my family when something was bugging me at home.
- My parents confided things in me that made me feel uncomfortable.
- My parents were divorced or separated.
- I lived with different people at different times (like different relatives or foster families).
- Somebody close to me died.
- I had a serious illness and/or had to be hospitalized for a medical problem.
- Someone I was close to was very sick, or in an accident for which they needed to be hospitalized.
- I received news that someone close to me had been seriously injured or violently killed during an accident, fight, or a crime.
- In my parents’ eyes, nothing I did was ever good enough.
- People in my family called me insulting names.
- The rules in my family were unclear and inconsistent.
- The punishments I received were unfair.
- My parents hurt each other physically when they argued and fought.
- I spent time out of the house and no one knew where I was.
- People in my family were out of control.
- I witnessed physical violence in my family.
- Someone in my family got medical attention because of violence.
- Someone in my family had a problem with alcohol and/or drugs.
- I abused alcohol and/or drugs.
- My caregivers were so into alcohol or drugs that they couldn’t take care of me.
- I was beaten, kicked or punched by someone close to me.
- I was in a situation in which I was convinced I would be physically injured or lose my life.
- Someone outside my family attacked me.
- I saw dead bodies.
- I was involved in a serious accident.
- I was in a natural disaster.
- I saw sexual things that scared me.
- Someone (older) touched me sexually against my wishes or tried to make me touch them.
- Someone forced me to have sex against my will.
- Someone threatened me with physical harm unless I did something sexual.
- I believed that one of my brothers or sisters was sexually molested.
- I have had another very frightening or traumatic experience where I felt intense fear, helpless, or horrified.
- Something terrible happened to me that still remains a mystery to me.
Once you have done this, notice how you feel inside your body and mind when you recognise some of your trauma. Do you feel cut off and detached from it? Or alternatively very emotional and upset? Or do you feel an emotion (either positive or negative) but at a level which you are comfortable with?
Please have a look at my How I Work page to see how trauma can affect us and the way we see the world.