When a person has lived through trauma, their view of the world becomes clouded. It affects everything; relationships, work, social. It skews perception and magnifies perceived threat, often creating threat where there is none. It does the opposite of rose tinted glasses, trauma survivors see the world through a damp, grey mist.
It affects their trust of others, and judgement of situations.
It makes them vigilant, always assessing for danger, their fight or flight response primed and ready.
They misconstrue the intentions of others, disbelieving in random kindness.
Their anxiety response can be triggered by things that give a reminder of the trauma, something they see, hear, smell, travelling along a particular road, a song, the weather, a person.
They try to avoid known triggers and situations that have the potential to be triggering.
They retreat into a bubble of safety, the world shrinking to a manageable size.
They crave peace and calm, and hate conflict.
They want to control things to keep themselves safe and don’t trust that anyone else can do it.
They blame themselves for what happened, thinking that they should have been able to change things.
They feel responsible for everything that has ever gone wrong in their lives.
They set themselves impossibly high standards and goals.
They need to achieve these standards and goals to feel successful and competent, as deep down they believe they are a failure.
I could go on… living through trauma of any origin or duration can have a long lasting impact on an individual and while there’s a much better understanding of trauma and PTSD now than there was historically, there remains difficulty in accessing the right psychological support. Instead having an overly heavy reliance on medication to manage the symptoms.
There’s no real point to this post, there’s no story with a blue sky happy ending. I just felt like sharing, and raising awareness, and trying to understand myself a little better.