I was talkin’ with a friend the other day, and she brought up the notion of the “Trauma Olympics”.
The idea that the violations she’s experienced are minimal in comparison to the violations of her friends, and therefore, she couldn’t possibly have “real trauma”.
Or, put in olympic terms, no medal for her.
I laughed, only because there’s millions of people walking around thinking their shit doesn’t stink enough to get help, and it’s… well, sad. And also ridiculous. And also not actually benefiting anyone.
So, together, we came up with an exhaustive list of things totally worthy of a Trauma Medal.
Because it’s not a competition of woundedness.
Because trauma is trauma is trauma.
Because we’re truly all here to find a way to get free, together.
Agree? Keep reading.
Back to the basics for a moment. Remember: trauma is an embodied violation hangover.
Any violation to the body (physical, emotional or energetic) that doesn’t get dispelled soon after the fact can cast a trauma spell over a person (again… physically, emotionally or energetically).
So, how do you know if you’re actually under a trauma spell, or just simply hot-n-bothered about a thing of the past?
Here’s a 4-part checklist that you can refer back to as you read through the Medal Worthy Causes of Trauma just below:
- You felt some sense of helplessness about the situation at the time.
- You were never able to assert or succeed with changing, fighting or flighting the situation.
- You didn’t feel safe or empowered to get support expelling the violation/danger/threat quickly after the fact.
- You’re currently experiencing deeply embodied fears around a similar violation/danger/threat happening.
As you read through the list of causes, if you can check YES to 3 out of 4 of the above things, it’s possible that you’re carrying some trauma with you.
Without further adieu… 29 Medal Worthy Causes of Trauma (for the people who think their violation wasn’t big enough).
1. Being put on prescription drugs at a young age without your consent, or against your desire.
2. Sex with a partner, but at an age when you were too young, and internalized feeling unsafe or unloved.
3. Neglect from either or both parent. (Neglect can sound so harsh, ey? We can un-charge it by saying simple things like, having a parent who traveled a lot, worked a lot, or generally wasn’t around all that much.)
4. Emotional abuse from either or both parent. (Again, “abuse” can sound extreme. All forms of manipulation, coercion, consistent blaming or shaming could leave you under a trauma spell.)
5. Being bullied in school.
6. Parental mental illness, substance dependence or incarceration.
7. Going without food or shelter at any age, but especially before the age of 18.
8. Parental fighting, separation or divorce.
9. Not getting enough physical affection from family growing up.
10. Consistent sex without emotional connection.
11. Surgery that didn’t go great. Circumcision.
12. Being raised in a religion or culture that insisted you’re going to hell for being yourself. Repeatedly.
13. Cancer. All things cancer.
14. Being attacked by an animal.
15. Forced or coerced sexual acts. (Blow jobs, hand jobs, breast jobs.)
16. Getting high on any kind of drug and experiencing not-so-great happenings.
17. Some “mild” form of molestation or violation happening to you when you were a kid that you can’t exactly remember.
18. Being groped against your will.
19. Witnessing an act of violence or an intense accident.
20. Any kind of emotionally or physically abusive relationship.
21. Giving difficult childbirth.
22. Being born through difficult childbirth.
23. Being the one to grope, molest, perpetrate or harass someone else, either intoxicated or sober.
24. Enduring natural disasters (floods, fires, hurricanes, earthquakes).
25. Car accidents.
26. War. All things war. Having a loved one leave. Fearing they’ll never come back. Going. Fearing you’ll never come back. Coming back. Everything that happened while you were gone. Never getting to leave the war zone. All Things War.
27. Experiencing police brutality of any kind.
28. Experiencing consistent or one-time racial, cultural, gendered, or sexuality based slurs, hate crimes, or harassments.
29. Watching too much MTV Singled Out or Spring Break, too much porn, too many shows where rape and murder and sexism and exploitative behaviors are the norm. Mind toxicity, basically. Yes, it can be traumatizing.
If you’re freaking out reading this list, fear not.
Here’s the truth: most people have trauma.
In fact, the human brain is prone to trauma. Our super advanced neo-cortex makes it hard for us to drop back down into our animal instincts to shake off violations and dangers, after the fact.
Hence, the embodied violation hangovers.
Hence, a society that’s either numbing out to cope, or over-sensitive and withering.
So. We gotta get better at dealing with trauma if we want to be a more empowered, loving and less wounded society.
Perhaps you’d like to start with yourself?
As you review the check-list against the Medal Worthy Causes of Trauma, if you’re finding yourself checking YES, YES, YES ANNND… YES to one or more of the causes, I want you to know there’s support available, and you’re allowed to receive it. ‘Cause you’re worth it. Absolutely. Hands-down. Worth it.
Here’s a list of next steps I can help you with:
- If story speaks louder than lists to your soul, check out my book, Secret Bad Girl. It’s poetry and memoir and science and revolution. And $3.49 on Amazon. Or email me & I’ll shoot you over a free PDF.
- If you’re tired, tired, tired of the past impacting your present, check out my one-on-one Breaking the Trauma Spell program. We dive deep and empower wildly.
- And if you’re wanting a free PDF of resources, head here for the Secret Bad Girl Toolkit (audio meditation, boundaries ritual, and Trauma 101 included).
All love & trust in your wholeness.