Is trauma something terrible that happened to you?
Is trauma the scar that terrible something left on your body, your mind, your soul?
We use the word trauma to denote experiences of chaos, terror, pain and helplessness so extreme they’d leave scars on any human being.
We also use the word “trauma” to describe the costs of surviving such experiences. We use the word “trauma” for the scars surviving leaves on our bodies, our minds, and our souls.
Trauma is not only an event or a set of circumstances.
Trauma is a relationship. Trauma is an intersection between an event or set of circumstances and the people who experience it.
Is trauma infectious? Can your body, your mind, your soul bear the scars of the terrible experiences of others?
Yes. Because we are social mammals, because we cannot help but attune to one another, trauma can and does spread through families, groups, populations.
Yes. Humans are learners. We learn from the experience of others. The scars our ancestors earned in their struggles to survive leave their marks in our epigenome. The scars of the past shape our ways of moving, perceiving, feeling, thinking and acting in the present.