“This isn’t a competition, we all deserve support and recovery.”
I love this blurb. It’s probably one of favorite. In a group I am in, earlier today there was a thread talking about trauma and what causes DID. There were people commenting on how “that is not traumatic enough to cause DID”. Umm, really? There are trauma severity police?
The brain does not know what books, the DSM V, professionals, or even the experts classify as “severe”. So how can one compare severities in traumatic events?
What is severe for one person is not severe for another. We all experience things differently. We feel things differently. We have different perspectives. And we all process experiences differently. Two siblings can experience the same events growing up and not be guaranteed to turn out the same.
What happens when it is a child though? Children definitely process events and experiences differently. A child’s brain is not developed enough to know how to process complex emotions. Children are still trying to figure out how to live, who to trust, what safe even means.
Severity in traumas. Long term effects. I wish there was a severity meter that could help people from having long term effects. But there isn’t. Severity is subjective why the person experiencing the trauma itself. This is something we need to remember. Everyone needs to remember. There is nothing more disheartening for a survivor to tell their story and to be discredited because their trauma “doesn’t sound severe enough”.
We remember one time we told a therapist about sexual assault we experienced as a child. We were talking about how this experience played a part in our sexual relationships as a young adult. We will never forget this therapist telling us “plenty of people are assaulted and have perfectly fine relations afterward, if you have issues it’s because you want to have them.” He went on to tell us that our issues were all in our head and we didn’t experience anything different than many other people had. We went back to being silent. We also stopped seeing this person.
No one can tell you that what you have experienced is not severe enough. No one can tell you how you should feel or what you should be going through. This is for you to discover. Don’t let anyone discredit how you feel, what you have experienced, or what you go through as a result. Each person reacts differently. Accepting your trauma severity as your own is a great step forward. Stop comparing yourself to anyone else!
A. G. Ballard