Why go looking for hidden trauma in your life? Is it to create a problem? Or place blame on others for your lack of success or bad choices? No.
The reason to look for hidden trauma in your life, specifically what kind, is for the purpose of healing. You can’t heal what you can’t see.
Hidden trauma is invisible but its side-effects aren’t. These are the things that help you to identify the hidden trauma so you address it and resolve it.
No matter the kind of hidden trauma you have, there’s hope and healing.
WHAT IS TRAUMA
Google defines trauma as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.
This way of defining trauma has not only caused a lot of misunderstanding, it’s one of the sources of hidden trauma. We’ll get into that kind of trauma below.
Integrated Listening defines trauma better.
Trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, diminishes their sense of self and their ability to feel the full range of emotions and experiences. (emphasis mine)
A “response”. >>>>> Yes.
Trauma isn’t an event or an experience.
Two people can go through the exact same experience and come away with completely different responses.
Trauma is the damage that takes place within the soul of a person as a result of an experience or event. Due to this, many traumas remain hidden and the damage not only effects the mind, will, and emotions, but leaks into the *body.
Trauma is personal and hidden trauma is a big problem.
“Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. When someone enters the pain and hears the screams healing can begin.” ― Danielle Bernock, Emerging with Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, and the Love That Heals
7 KINDS OF HIDDEN TRAUMA
Hidden trauma is something that can hide in us and suddenly appear just long enough to mess us up. That “sudden appearance’ is called the side-effects. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, hidden trauma is no respecter of persons.
Before I get into the side-effects here are 7 kinds of hidden trauma with a brief description.
1. Dismissed Trauma
This kind of trauma is hidden because the traumatized person can’t or won’t validate their trauma as trauma.
They dismiss it due to:
- Fear of repercussions
- Comparison with others causing them to see it as not that bad
- Thinking it makes them weak
- Perceiving it as normal because that’s all they’ve known
- Being told to suck it up and dismiss it
- Being invalidated by someone they care about
2. Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN)
This kind of trauma is hidden because it’s something that didn’t happen. A child is emotionally neglected when a parent fails to adequately respond to their child’s needs.
Dr. Jonice Webb uses the term “enough”. This is because each child has different needs and a parent might respond, but simply not enough for that child.
With CEN an adult can’t see what didn’t happen to them as a child. Abuse is something that happened. CEN is the lack of something needed, that leaves behind a hole that has no memory. It’s not possible to validate something you don’t know exists.
3. Undetected PTSD
Undetected equals have hidden. PTSD has been misunderstood, misrepresented, and stigmatized. Because of this many avoid having anything to do with the label. Women suffer more from undetected and undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder than men.
According to Dr. Cira, a lot of women simply don’t know they are experiencing the effects of PTSD. “Women often internalize, meaning that instead of searching for answers in their world or circumstances, they assume something is wrong with them,” Dr. Cira explains. “So they might not attribute their own thoughts, feelings, emotions or behaviors to something that happened to them because they just figure this is who they are.” (source)