Christian Stress Release

What is Trauma (Pt. 1) – Intro

Trauma is how you perceived the event you lived through, not the event itself.

Today we’re starting a new series on Trauma, called “What is Trauma?”. This series is here to help you understand what trauma is, what the signs and symptoms are, and how and why God created you in a way that includes trauma. We’ll cover the basics of this mental health dysfunction, all the way into some of the science of how it wires into your memories and nervous system. This will give you the foundation for understanding how to heal any trauma you may be carrying. Because trauma is one of the main causes of stress in life as a human.


This is the first in a series of 10 posts called “What is Trauma”. Learning about trauma can be overwhelming and even triggering. I encourage you to go slow, letting God lead you to where He needs you right now. And if at any point your get triggered and need help, there are free and paid resources linked at the bottom of each post. They’ll help you out of those triggers, back into the state of peace in your mind and body. You deserve that, so don’t shy away from help if you need it. I’m praying for you.

What is Trauma?

Trauma is how you perceived the event you lived through that was harmful to you physically, mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually. (Not the event that happened to you, as many believe).


In particular, it’s the wounding you carry from emotionally or physically harmful or life-threatening events that you live through. And it leaves you with negative lasting impacts like an inability to function physically, mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually.


What this means is that, the trauma you carry is the wounding you have from the hard things in life you’ve lived through. Not the hard things themselves. It’s the damage satan has done in your mind, heart and body during and after these hard things.


These events can include mental/emotional abuse, assaults (physical or sexual), accidents, natural disasters and war. Trauma occurs when you go into shock during and after these events, and are unable to cope mentally and emotionally with what just happened. 


The mental health world types these events as UDIN: unexpected, dramatic, isolating, with no resources (to help you process mentally and emotionally what you just lived through). They’re the jarring things satan hurls at you that you can’t handle on your own. And your brain, heart and body walk away wounded with trauma.

The 3 E’s of Trauma

There are 3 main things that happen when someone gets wounded with trauma. We categorize these as “the 3 E’s”: Events, Experiences and Effects.


The events are the hard things you go through in life, where your brain can re-wire with trauma. These events or circumstances include:


  • Mental or emotional harm
  • Physical harm
  • Spiritual harm


» These event(s) are what happened.


Your experiences are how you perceived the event(s) you had to endure. They’re how your brain perceived what was happening to you.


These events, by nature, create a power dynamic, meaning someone or something had power over you. Like a person or a natural disaster. Something was bigger than you and you couldn’t escape harm from it.


When you’re powerless, you’ll feel helpless. And with the feeling of helplessness comes the emotions of humiliation, guilt, shame and betrayal. You begin to ask yourself: “why me?”, “why now?”, or maybe “why again?”.


All of this leads to your mind and heart collapsing in the wounding of your brain, heart and body with trauma.


These perceptions you carry depend on your age; the experiences you’ve previously had in life; and whether or not people are there to help you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. These things shape your brain’s perception of the event(s).


» These experiences are how you perceived what happened.


The effects are the lasting impacts on your life from the events you endured and how your perceived them. They’re the signs and symptoms of your trauma (wounding) playing out in your life.


You may find that you’re unable to cope with the stresses and strains of your life. Maybe you’re short tempered, anxious, and easily triggered; instead of your usual calm, peaceful, go-with-the-flow self.


You may struggle to regulate your emotions, meaning control how you express your negative emotions. Maybe where you once were able to control and hold back your anger or grief, you now have outbursts where you can’t control it.


You might struggle to think clearly, having scrambled thoughts or the inability to remember things clearly. This is especially true of the memories of the events you’ve lived through.


You may have difficulty with your attention span, struggling to stay focused on something for long periods of time like you used to.


Your relationships may be affected, with a sudden distrust of people, whether or not your people were the ones causing the harm. This is especially true if people were the ones hurting you.


These types of effects can show up immediately in your life, like someone who’s just been assaulted and can’t stop panicking. Or they can show up much later in life, like a war vet after they’ve returned home and are trying to reintegrate back into their life.


They can be short-lived, in what we call post-traumatic stress resilience. Or they can be long-lasting, like in the case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


All of these effects are the signs and symptoms of the trauma (wounding) you now carry. 


» These effects are the lasting impacts on your life from the events you endured, and how you perceived them.

The Complexity of Trauma

Trauma isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing that you can categorize. It’s complex and confusing to understand. Over the next 9 posts, I’m going to open you up to the different types of trauma, the signs and symptoms of it, the resources available to you to help you determine if you might be carrying it, and the science of how it wires into your brain and body.


My goal is to help you understand what this mental health dysfunction truly is, so that if you are struggling with it, you can find the right help to heal it.


We live in a fallen world. Satan is out to steal, kill and destroy you. And hurting you in a way that damages your brain, body and heart is one his tactics. Learning the science of mental health can help you get the right help to heal, which is an amazing weapon against him.


Next post, I’ll be introducing you to the 5 different types of trauma. We’ll start with the first 3 (acute, chronic and secondary), followed by the last 2 (developmental and complex) in the post after that.

Do You Have Trauma and Need Help with Your Triggers?

If you’re struggling with trauma triggers and life-altering effects they bring, I have resources for you.


While I always encourage healing in 1-on-1 sessions with a therapist or trauma coach, you’re also going to need help in between those sessions.


Here is a free video of one of my favorite mental health techniques for turning off trauma triggers. It’s a quick 5 minute exercise that will shift you back into the state of peace in your mind and body.


I also have a full Membership of videos and audios (just like the free one) to help you turn off your triggers anytime, anywhere. Some are short exercises to turn off your triggers quickly so you can get back to your life, while others are longer opportunities to turn off your triggers and release the hard emotions that came with them.


You deserve to live and thrive in the state of peace in your mind and body. And God wants that for you.


If you’re struggling with trauma and the damaging effects of it, know that it’s not only ok to get help. It’s beautiful.


From one survivor of this hard life to another,

I’m praying for you ♥︎

   – L aura

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