We spend a great deal of time reflecting on child trauma and how it impacts our children. The effects are far-reaching. At Lakeside we focus on helping students regulate in our schools and counseling programs. We feel extremely privileged to help them with some areas of their lives that are difficult to navigate. As we work with over 3,600 students per year we are able to give them hope and help from the impact of adversities and varied traumatic experiences.
What is more perplexing, complex and difficult to deal with is the latent effects of trauma in adults. Very often the traumatic events have occurred in the distant past. In the interim years between the trauma and the present a lot of coping mechanisms have been utilized to survive. Often there are escalating issues that become pervasive and life-dominating. In those cases the adult has no idea why they feel as they do but they sense that something is wrong.
Dr. Jade Wu recently published an article – not typically discussed – in Psychology Today, featuring 3 ways that childhood trauma affects adults. The 3 effects are as follows:
Effect #1: Trauma can burrow down deep into the body, contributing to chronic illness.
Effect #2: Trauma can be harmful to a person’s relationship with their own sexuality.
Effect #3: Even a person’s understanding of time and reality can be distorted by complex trauma.
Perhaps as we recognize some of the effects in individuals that are in our families, our workplaces or our communities it may be illuminating that the root of some of these effects may be found in a trauma history in their own lives. If this reality comes to light, getting some professional therapy can be so helpful to discover resolve, resilience and a better sense of health and well-being. The more we know about our trauma history the more we can become proactive to deal with its consequences.