I'd like to thank a friend for encouraging me to reflect: "Is this writing mainly a healthy process for me, or am I trying to teach the reader something about my experience?"
The short answer is "Yes!" to both — I'll explain.
Trauma happens to people all over the world from a huge variety of causes. It does not discriminate based on any of life's "details": things like finances, upbringing, nationality, culture, location, etc. There are correlations, but correlation does not imply causation.
Physical trauma can sometimes be observed, as in a broken bone, but frequently, the emotional response to a trauma is extremely difficult to observe, especially over time. Emotional trauma can occur from a one-time event or from repetitive experiences, and this makes it very difficult to recognize trauma or identify its causes, never mind resolving it.
The reality is that trauma, especially long term Trauma, is a very personal, individual experience. Experiences that might be traumatic for one person may not be traumatic for another person. Additionally, a traumatic experience does not necessarily imply that a person will develop post traumatic stress, and even though someone might function with post traumatic stress, they may or may not develop the associated disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
It is important to establish that I am not a professional therapist. No information on this site offers any guarantees, and it's always a good idea to get individualized attention from a professional. While modern medicine is industrializing efforts to help people with PTSD, the effort that I see a need for is the one that speaks to the common experience of long term trauma and PTSD. On top of that, I believe that most, if not all, emotional traumas have many of the same building blocks, and so, sharing the emotional journey of other survivors of major Traumas and PTSD might help others with similar experiences feel more connected to others and to themselves.
This brings me to my experience-driven definition of PTSD, which is simply, "meta overwhelm." This overwhelm is both nonverbal and existential, shattering a person's sense of self-efficacy. This points to perhaps the most difficult part about dealing with PTSD: confronting the avoidant, dissociative overwhelm that is the key ingredient of the disorder in the first place. Personally, I'm sick and tired of running from nothing. I'm sick and tired of living in fear. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Regardless of its causes, PTSD is a miserable way to live, and only in the last several years have modern sciences figured out how to work with it. While this site will probably use details about my story, this site exists to create a conversation that helps all of us through the transition from "survivor 2 thriver".
I want this site to provide a place where we can all discover our breakthroughs, move out of Trauma, and move into Personal Agency.
These blog posts have a space for comments and I encourage readers to share their related experiences so we can come together and create a healthier and happier humanity.