You’re Not Crazy. It’s Really Not Supposed to Be Like This.
The science is clear: you are a normal human animal in a very sick society
Have you heard enough about trauma yet? Trauma is the word of the decade, apparently. Everyone’s triggering everyone’s trauma. Our bodies keep the score. Who’s winning, I wonder? We’re not. Whatever war it is we’re fighting, it seems we’re always losing it. We’re addicted, alienated, confused, disoriented, aggressive, pissed-off and raging. We’re just FINE, thanks: freaked-out, insecure, neurotic and emotional. If the Xanax and emo rap are anything to go by, it’s pretty clear the kids are not alright.
It’s overwhelming, the amount of crazy coursing through our minds and veins and world. It’s all coming apart. What used to make sense no longer makes sense and we’re all hurting so damn much. These days, it seems like absolutely everyone is traumatized.
That might be because everybody is.
We need to pay attention to all this trauma. It’s not happening by accident. It’s telling us something about ourselves and our world and it’s only going to get louder the longer we drown it out. The message is as unsettling as it is obvious, as simple as it is radical, and as plain as our desire not to see it.
If we’re to have any hope of healing, we need to know the anatomy of our trauma, where it comes from, what it’s reacting to. Only then will we know what we can change to make our lives less traumatizing.
Let’s start at the beginning:
Trauma is a natural response to unnatural conditions. When we’re faced with imminent threat, our nervous systems kick into overdrive, flooding our bodies with adrenaline to skyrocket energy in preparation for us to fight or flee.
If our nervous systems cannot dispel that energy, our bodies remain overwhelmed. This can lead to long-term dysregulation in response to a traumatic event, commonly called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Post-traumatic stress typically presents with symptoms such as pervasive fear and anxiety, hyper-vigilance, nightmares and sleep disruption, dissociation, flashbacks, unconscious reenactment of the traumatic event, or compulsive behaviors such as addiction, among other…