A Veritable Crisis
The US news organization NPR has an article that asks whether childhood trauma should be treated as a public health crisis.
It explains, rightly, how visible forms of disease are indeed labeled “crises” when they affect a certain percentage of the population. Outbreaks of influenza and hepatitis are given as examples.
And yet, the article says, less visible issues–such as the impact of childhood trauma–are not given widespread attention and treated as a public-wide issue; they are instead treated on an individual, case-by-case basis.
That said, NPR presented the results of a study whose findings indeed support the idea of childhood trauma as a public-wide health crisis. The study followed people for 22 years and concluded that such trauma does indeed impact a significant percentage of the population. Which seems to qualify the issue as a “public health crisis.”
To draw such a conclusion, the researchers studied children who had undergone events that we would typically acknowledge as trauma; one example being physical abuse. And so, concludes this important study, children who experience clear trauma grow up with problems to such an extent that there is a veritable “public health crisis.”
This is disturbing on its own.
Yet, in my profession, we know that the problem is much bigger.
Because we know that true “childhood trauma” can actually be much more subtle than the obvious events.
The distinction lies in the definition: What adults consider to be traumatic is different from what a child processes as traumatic.
Adults often require severe circumstances or physical blows to believe that “trauma” has been caused.
Yet in the child’s experience, the parameters are far subtler.
The child did not get the toy they wanted for Christmas–but they watched their sibling get exactly what they wanted.
The child was not feeling hungry–but the parent forced them to eat all of the food that had been served to them, at risk of punishment.
The child is blamed and shamed for something they did not do–and no adult was willing to listen to the child’s story of innocence.
The child intuitively does not feel safe around an adult–but is nevertheless forced to give this person a hug, because the household’s manners dictate such a gesture.
The child is curious about the world and asks questions constantly–yet they are told to be quiet because the adult finds this curiosity irritating.
The child’s hair is cut–without their permission.
Can you see how the possibilities are endless? All of these experiences have the potential to be processed as traumatic.
The dictionary’s definition of trauma is simply, “a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.”
And so, our “public health crisis” is much bigger.
Imprinting The Soul
Indeed, as an energy healer, I work with clients at the level of their souls. They tell me what is problematic in their adult life, and I connect with their soul to learn the source of that problem. Often, we go to their childhood.
What we find here are events that may have been relatively uneventful, but which their child self processed as being traumatic, and which has grown over time into a real impediment to their happiness.
Here are some examples:
The child was told to be reliant on others for their material needs, and as an adult the client has trouble manifesting money and struggles to pay their bills.
The child tried to exert themselves but was punished for it, and as an adult they lack self-confidence, have an innate fear of being assertive, and are unable to ask for a promotion at work even though they deserve it.
The child’s parents were too busy to pay attention to them, and the parents occupied the child with television and junk food; as an adult, this person grew up with weight issues, low self-esteem, and has trouble finding meaningful relationships.
The possibilities here, too, are endless.
The Bottom Line
When any traumatic imprint is not cleared immediately, it remains within that person, and it has the potential to grow.
If it is sufficiently significant, then this unhealed trauma will shape that person’s entire life.
Let’s please heal this epidemic. Many of us are right now sitting in unhealed trauma, and it is harming us as well as the world around us. It doesn’t need to.
Let’s also acknowledge that even subtle gestures, words, and actions are stored in people’s energy fields and memories; and that a child’s field is extra sensitive. Let’s do better at having patience, tolerance, and kindness for others–and for ourselves.
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