Trauma can be big or small. Often times when people hear the word trauma they think of big incidents like 9/11 or a car accident. However, trauma can be “little” as well. Anything from being teased as a child, having a fight with a friend, a harsh word from a parent to a relationship break up. Trauma is like a wound. We go through life getting cuts and scrapes and usually we place some antibiotic cream over the cut, then a bandaid, and the wound heals. However, trauma is like a wound where a foreign object has been inserted inside and no matter how much cream or bandages the wound has – it is unable to fully heal.
When wounds cannot fully heal, we sometimes call this “unresolved issues” which can lead to stress that can permeate throughout one’s life. Imagine a child walking around with a cut that has a foreign object in it – that child would be quite “stressed” or irritable. Unresolved trauma can result in stress, anxiety, depression, and anger.
You can read more about these different types of trauma and how our bodies react here.
How do we remove this foreign object and allow our wounds to heal? EMDR is one way therapists help clients process and heal from big and small traumas. Talking it through with a close friend or a mental health professional is a first step. Being able to acknowledge there is a wound that needs healing is the first step toward gaining the tools to resolve the unresolved.