Frequently Asked Questions

Was what happened to me bad enough to count as trauma?

There’s no neat way to categorize events into “traumatizing” and “not traumatizing.” Trauma is very subjective, and what one individual can move past could be devastating to another. You don’t need to have gone through the worst possible situation to be severely hurt by it. Trauma is an incident that causes physical, emotional, spiritual, or psychological harm, causing the person experiencing the event to feel threatened, anxious, or frightened as a result. This could cover any array of things. Examples: death of a loved one, war, sexual abuse, serious illness/injury, witnessing death/war/natural disasters, stalking, domestic/partner violence, emotional abuse, bullying. There are a lot of other examples. You are still valid if the cause of your trauma is not listed here.

 

But others have it worse than me. 

This is a normal way to feel. It is not uncommon for survivors to invalidate themselves. You are valid. And you're allowed to feel what you feel. This may also be what's known as Trauma Imposter Syndrome which you can learn about by clicking here 

Can I have trauma if I don't have PTSD? 

Yes. About 70% of the population in the United States has experienced trauma in their lives, with up to 20% of them developing PTSD. Please note that developing PTSD is not a sign of weakness. 

Can I still have trauma even if no one caused it?

You definitely can. There are numerous possibilities for trauma that isn't necessarily caused by another person like natural disasters, car accidents (that don't involve someone at fault like black ice), house fires, death of a loved one and other ways as well. 

Do I need to forgive the person who hurt me in order to heal?

No. For some people, forgiveness helps them to move on and heal. For others, they cannot bring themselves to forgive. Maybe they're not ready not, and maybe they will never be. And that's okay. Just because someone has not forgiven someone does not mean they are not able to heal and move beyond the hurt. We are all individuals and there is no official rule book for healing from trauma and there could never be because everyone heals differently. 

How do I tell a friend about my trauma?

Please see this post. 

How do I listen to a friend tell me about their trauma?

Please see this post. 

How do I go about finding a therapist?

Please see this post. 

How do I engage in sex after trauma?

Please see this post.

Is it okay to feel angry about my trauma?

Absolutely! You are 100% valid in however you feel. Please see this post about the validity in anger. And also this post!

Why shouldn't I tell someone with trauma to "look on the bright side" or point out how lucky they are it wasn't worse?

Please see this post on toxic positivity and this post on telling a survivor they're lucky. 

What is no contact trauma?

It is trauma that occurs without physical contact, like physical or sexual abuse. 

 

Is no contact trauma valid?

Yes. Almost anything can cause trauma in the right context and under the right circumstances. Trauma is about the effect things have on you, not about whatever the original event(s) was/were.

What are examples of no contact trauma?

No contact trauma can include, but is not limited to: emotional abuse, losing a loved one (break up, death, etc), some medical trauma, and natural disasters. It can also include no contact sexual abuse, bullying, and online abuse. There are many other things not listed. Not seeing the cause of your trauma on here does not mean it isn't valid. 

More FAQ

Definitions

Abuse Trauma

Sexual Trauma