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And, perhaps more importantly, trauma almost always leaves a deep impression or emotional scar upon us.
And the more insidious or intense the trauma, the deeper the wound and more difficult it is to heal.
For example, if a child is out playing in the yard one day and inadvertently disturbs a wasp nest and is repeatedly stung, they might develop a fear not only of wasps, but also of all flying insects, of playing in the yard, or even merely going outdoors.
They have to learn, slowly and steadily to “discriminate” such things as not all insects sting, the yard is a generally safe place to play, and even wasps don’t usually bother you unless you bother them, etc.
And, of course, as the old saying goes, “if they really are out to get you, you’re not paranoid.” But on a more serious note, it’s important to distinguish between common tendency of trauma survivors to lose their basic sense of security and trust and genuine paranoia.
The former is a rational, albeit dysfunctional response to the trauma of betrayal, and the latter is a sign of a much more serious disease process.
The only good news about having PTSD it is that because of its nature, it’s also one of those conditions that with proper treatment enjoys a relatively decent rate of amelioration.
Many relational abuse survivors suffer from post-traumatic stress (although not all post-traumatic stress rises to the level of a diagnosed “disorder”).
And I’ve posted some articles on the major hurdles toxic relationship survivors face when trying to pick up the pieces and move on (see, for example: and related subsequent articles).
Hopefully, however, this article will begin a significant discussion.
It should also help give new and deeper meaning not only to the tools of personal empowerment I outline in .
And we also become “conditioned” to our instinctive emotional responses to the trauma.
It’s not uncommon for trauma survivors to “re-live” and to obsess and ruminate about the most emotionally painful events over and over again.