What Causes Trauma?

I’m sure there are multiple answers to what causes trauma. I will give you one for your consideration. 

Most people will experience trauma in their life. 

Trauma is preceded by tragedy. Whether it is a catastrophe, calamity, misfortune, disaster, or heartbreak, it is tragic. If we live long enough, tragedy will happen, and pain and suffering will result. 

Sometimes tragedy comes in the form of abuse: physical, emotional, psychological, social or spiritual. No form of abuse comes without some level of tragedy. 

Trauma results when tragedy is experienced without kindness being infused into the process. 

Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (4:32).

If you look at the synonyms of “kind,” none incorporate being mean, caustic, evil, or embrace the comment, “just get over it.” I cringe when I witness or hear this kind of behavior. I wish I could say I have never participated in this manner, but I would not have been honest if I had said that. 

What Causes Trauma

The lack of kindness, indeed the opposite of kindness, turns a tragedy into a traumatic experience. 

The memory of tragedy coupled with kindness may dissipate over time. The pain may still be there, but one can healthily follow this pathway. They not only survive but can also grow through the experience.

Without the kindness, trauma results. Once this happens, healing halts. The memory of the current trauma persists. Now, PTSD sets in. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is not trauma. PTSD is the memory of the trauma. 

The mind and the body can be frozen in time, as it were. Years and even decades can pass, and the individual can be stuck in the memory of the past trauma. Others have moved on, but in reality, they have not. 

It is easy to pass judgment on these people, but does that help?

At any time, if allowed, someone can step into the trauma with them, reliving the memory in real time, except this time, infusing kindness into the process. This allows the individual to process the trauma, reinterpret the tragedy, and begin healing. 

It’s not as easy as I make it sound here. It’s kind of like the gospel message: simple yet complex. However, when followed, it will have eternal ramifications.

So, be kind!

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