Recognising traumatic events

Started by Wattlebird, August 09, 2018, 09:08:05 AM

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I've been thinking about my history and foo and recently recognised an event that happened to be highly traumatic but I didn't even consider it as an event worth telling my t about before now.
i think I've dismissed it because I was not involved with the trauma just a witness. I feel a little stupid really, I guess my brain was not ready to deal with it and kept dismissing it.
Is this pretty normal, I keep thinking my therapist will roll her eyes at how obviously traumatic it was/is and how long it's taken me to work that out.


Hi Wattlebird,
Personally, I think it is something that probably happens more often than we realise - I've been discovering this when looking at my own life - and how in order to cope with different situations, different defences came about - and afterall, it's important to survive - and I think the brain does protect us - in so many different ways.

I often realise how 'blind' I was to certain things - because my instinct was to trust my caregivers and think that they had my best interests at heart, and yet, looking at many of these things with fresh eyes - as an adult - I can see things differently - although I am amazed by how much my mind still flips back into dissociating and sometimes blanking out things that it thinks I can't cope with.  It happens to me daily.

I hope your therapist won't roll her eyes - because that wouldn't be a supportive non-verbal - hopefully that might be your fears that your reality won't be listened to - I really hope that you are able to talk about that latest thing you've discovered - because being a witness of something can be significantly traumatising - and I don't think you are stupid at all - like you said, your brain wanted to protect you, and maybe now you're ready to talk about it with your therapist.  Wishing you the best with it. 

Hope  :)


In addition to protecting ourselves from any more trauma, I think there's  a certain degree of normalization of trauma for those of us with CPTSD such that we don't notice or dismiss something we wouldn't if we had not been through so much ourselves. 

Either way you're definitely not stupid  :sadno: and the fact that you do see it now may mean you are ready to talk about it as Hope suggests.  That's progress I'd say!  :yes:


Thanks kizzie and hope
I will discuss it and stop worrying about looking stupid, my t is more professional than to roll her eyes it's just me imagining her response.
I'm just amazed at how "blind" we can be. it scares me that I can't even trust my own beliefs, makes me feel stupid but I'm changing that I'm going to say "blind spots" instead of stupid to myself


hey, wb, i'm glad you're able to change that thought pattern for yourself.  as hope and kizzie mentioned, our brains are wondrous at keeping us as safe and sane as possible under horrific circumstances, including those we may not have had an active part in.  trauma is trauma is trauma, and it will take its toll no matter what its form.

being able to get to a place of realization does not always come sooner rather than later, but when it's there, i do believe it's because we are finally ready and possibly able to deal with it.   all in its own time - that's how healing tracks thru our lives.  all we can do is honor that and do what we can when we're ready.  it's different for each of us.  no shame, no blame. 

love and hugs, wb.  i hope it goes well with your t and you get some relief and comfort.