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Possible trauma

Hi everyone, this is a really heavy topic I think, and i feel a bit nervous posting this, but I have been feeling quite confused and anxious lately about some dots I have been connecting. I won't go into detail, but i was just wondering if someone could give their opinion on this. I read somewhere that childhood trauma is not always the event itself, but the feelings and perceptions the child has from an event, so I guess, even if something bad didn't exactly happen to you physically, just you feeling uncomfortable and unsafe as a child, and perceiving the situation to be wrong, can still be a form of trauma. If that makes sense? 

I hope I'm making sense, but I can see that I'm probably not. 

I understand childhood trauma is complex and the way individuals deal with it varies, but I was just wondering if its possible to have 'childhood trauma' without having had something physical happen to you? (But I also know repressed trauma and buried memories are a possibility too) 

I guess I should explain whats going in with me a bit more. Its just that I have realized that I feel a certain sense of anxiety and weirdness, and like child-like fear? and somewhat guilt or like I'm hiding something, in summer and the warmer months. And i tend to feel more detached sometimes too. Its just this feeling that comes to me, not all the time, but a fair bit in flashes. When i was really young, i use to get intense guilt for no real reason, and I also struggled with a bit of what I believe is OCD / obsessive, intrusive thoughts. I was probably only around 7 or 8. I can just remember this feeling of anxiety and guilt, and the feeling I get in summer is like a sense of that old feeling. There is other stuff that is making me think about this, but tbh i feel a bit weird and uncomfortable talking about it right now. 

I don't know if any of this made sense, sorry if it didn't, but I kind of also felt like I needed to get this off my chest.

I guess to summarise, can you have a sort of childhood trauma from the way you perceived something as a child? Like just from being uncomfortable around a person or a situation? or does it always have to be a physical thing? 

Re: Possible trauma

Hey @indieinsanus It sounds like you've been feeling quite anxious about this and im sorry to hear that Smiley Sad 

Have you ever spoken to a professional about this issue? That might be helpful. Or even writing about this feeling in a diaries and what triggers these thoughts and feelings.

Re: Possible trauma

@sunnygirl606  Hi, I have been trying to connect with a professional but they have been pretty busy I think. But I will keep trying.

I have thought about writing out these feelings, and maybe that would help me understand them more, I think I will give it a go.

Thank you for your support.

Re: Possible trauma

I hope you can see one soon @indieinsanus and that they help you to understand all these thoughts and feelings Heart


We at ReachOut are always here to support you!

Re: Possible trauma

Hey Indieinsanus


These feelings sound really heavy. I can imagine all these emotions and thoughts would feel very overwhelming. I'm sorry you are having to experience this. I do think it's really good you have jumped online and shared how you are feeling. 


Speaking from my own experience (what I have learned in therapy), I was a sensitive child, and my psychologist often talks to me about how for sensitive children, even mild experiences can be impactful. So, I just want to say that whatever your feeling, whether it would be seen as a conventionally traumatic experience or not, sounds valid and worth the attention. 


I have struggled with shame and associated anxiety, which comes from my childhood experiences. For me, these feelings can be very physically strong in my body, and feel to be coming from a younger, wounded part of me. Most of these experiences are not physical or conventionally traumatic sounding, but they have effects on me. This is something I work with my psychologist on. There are other things that might relate to your description of seasonal feelings. For me, when I head back to my home town, I feel a sense of shame and anxiety, like I am going to get 'caught out' there. I sometimes wonder if this relates to feeling different from other people in childhood.


In relation to your question and, I can only speak to my experience, there were events in my childhood that I feel were traumatic and had impacts on me, which were not conventionally traumatic or physical. I think whatever your experiencing is fully valid and, as you mentioned, I hope you have the opportunity to talk to someone about this and learn more about these feelings!


Does my sharing of this experience help at all? How are you feeling today? 

Re: Possible trauma

Hi @indieinsanus


I'm a psychology honours student at university and from what I've learnt, childhood trauma can manifest in many different ways from various types of abuse (i.e., physical, emotional, verbal, domestic, etc). So it's definitely possible for people to experience trauma from their own perception of a situation. Especially since as children we are incredibly perceptive as we try to learn and navigate through the world! Ultimately, childhood trauma is a very complex psychological issue and affects different people in different ways.


I also noticed you mention feeling guilty; often feelings of guilt can actually be a symptom of anxiety itself. And from what you've described I would definitely recommend seeking professional help, even talking to your local counsellor or GP is worthwhile! I've found GPs particularly resourceful as they can set up a mental health care plan for you and contact a psychologist if you feel like you need to. 


 I hope this helped you in some way, and I'm sorry to hear about how you're feeling right now Smiley Sad Feel free to update us on your thoughts/feelings in the future!

Re: Possible trauma

@Abderian Thank you so, so much. That really helped me, and put my mind at ease a little. I think I can connect with 'mild' and non-physical experiences having a deep impact, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for sharing that with me, I really appreciate it. 

At the moment I'm feeling better than I was earlier today. I still feel kind of weird. This thought of wether I may have some kind of childhood trauma is something that has come to me a few times over the past year, and each time it always puts me in a spiral and I struggle a lot with weird feelings and anxiety, but I have never really reached out for professional help, which I think is important for me to do this time. Rn I'm feeling okay, even thinking more of these feelings and thoughts I think I am already understanding them more. 

Thank you for replying, it means a lot.

Re: Possible trauma

@indieinsanus so I don't know if this is similar but a lot of my trauma comes from hallucinations.

It doesn't matter to my brain that it wasn't actually a near-death experience, my brain perceived it that way.

So I think something like OCD as a child could be traumatic. Seven year old brains probably aren't great at processing things like that, it makes sense that it could still be affecting you today.

Re: Possible trauma

Hey @indieinsanus, that is really good to hear you feel like you're understanding your feelings and thoughts more. I agree with @Abderian that it's worth exploring things - and you and your wellbeing are worth it.

You said you are thinking more about reaching out for professional help, do you know what this might look like for you? Let us know how you're getting on, we are here to support you on this journey. 

Re: Possible trauma

@Hannah-RO  Hi, thank you for your support. At the moment, looking for professional help is more just me trying to talk to someone through head space or another professional online. It may sound a bit strange, but I don't think I'm willing to dive deep into what ever this is just yet. I feel like there is a lot on my mind and things I am trying to work out in my life right now, and I feel like I don't really have the mental space to start dealing with it on a deeper level yet.  I would like to discuss it a bit with a professional, but I don't want to start seeing a psychiatrist for it right now. I think I am in a relatively okay place with my mental health over all, and it has taken me a while to get here, so I think I will try to deal with this lightly, if that makes sense? I think I just really needed to tell somebody, and understand it a bit more for the moment.

I definitely think I need to address it, but I don't think I really want to start having sessions in person right now. 

Thank you for your support, I really, really appreciate it.