Was it Really That Bad? Recognizing Complex Trauma.
Was it Trauma?
Many people question the validity of their childhood experiences. Frequent comments I hear in sessions include:
“It wasn’t great but was it really that bad?”
“There are people out there who have been through so much worse.”
“I’m overreacting and over dramatizing it.”
Adult children raised in traumatic or emotionally abusive families may struggle to accept that their experiences were harmful. Disturbing childhood experiences are often normalized by family members, causing a victim to feel confused and guilty. Survivors of trauma may struggle with low self-esteem and develop negative beliefs about themselves which impacts their daily functioning, life, and relationships.
What is Complex Trauma?
Complex Trauma occurrs when an individual has experienced a series of traumatic events over a prolonged period of time. Examples of repeated traumas include but are not limited to:
- Childhood abuse, abandonment, or neglect
- Repeated witnessing of domestic violence
- Experiencing repeated physical, emotional, or sexual abuse by a partner
- Long-term exposure to war trauma or community violence
- Experiencing persistent emotional invalidation
- Being raised by an emotionally distant or overly critical caregiver
It can be difficult to recognize if you have experienced abuse, especially if the abuse perpetrated was emotional and psychological. Abuse is often confusing and can cause you to question the reality of your experiences.
All Trauma is Valid
Many people tend to minimize complex trauma because they believe these experiences are minor in comparison to others’. Trauma is specific to each person’s perceptions and reactions to disturbing events. All trauma is worth exploring and processing in order to heal and move forward.
Complex Trauma Symptoms:
If you have experienced complex trauma, you may notice the below symptoms:
- Low self-esteem/self-worth
- Depressed mood
- Feeling detached or disconnected
- Feelings of guilt and shame
- Difficulty in relationships
- Preoccupation with an abuser
- Trouble managing emotions and reactivity
- Excessive worry, anxiety, or fear
- Feeling responsible for others’ emotions
- Difficulty trusting others
Complex Trauma Therapy
Therapy for complex trauma can help you understand and heal from past disturbing experiences.
I specialize in providing counseling to individuals who have experienced complex trauma. Please contact me today to learn more about my services or to set up an appointment.
Online Locations: Nashville, Tennessee – Brentwood, Tennessee – Atlanta, Georgia – Sandy Springs, Georgia – Greater Tennessee and Georgia Area