Small “t” and big “T” traumas

Life is a rollercoaster ride, filled with ups, downs, and everything in between. Along the journey, we encounter moments that leave an impact on us – some more profound than others. From the seemingly small yet impactful events to the overwhelmingly distressing moments, trauma affects us all differently.

Small “t” traumas are often the quiet companions we carry with us that are scarcely noticed by the world. These experiences may include emotional neglect, the loss of a cherished friendship, sustained bullying, or the aftermath of a natural disaster that rattled our sense of security. While these events might not garner headlines, their effects on our mental and emotional well-being can be profound.

What is important to remember is  that the impact of small “t” traumas is not measured by their magnitude but by the individual’s unique response to them. For one person, a seemingly trivial incident might leave a lasting scar, while another may navigate through significant adversities with resilience.

On the other end of the spectrum lies big “T” traumas, the heart-wrenching, life-altering events that shake us to our core. These experiences may include physical or sexual assault, surviving a car accident, witnessing violence, or serving in a war zone. When you go through something like this, it’s like a massive tidal wave crashing over you, leaving you struggling to stay afloat and can leave lasting imprints on our lives.

The recognition of big “T” traumas should never diminish the significance of small “t” traumas. While the visibility and gravity of big “T” traumas may demand immediate attention and intervention, it is important to remember that healing is a personal journey, and no one’s pain should be overshadowed.

So what can one do? First of all, when someone opens up about their experiences, let’s be there without judgment, offering understanding and empathy. Let’s not forget to extend that compassion to ourself too! It’s okay to ask for help, seek professional support, or even take some time to heal and recharge.