When a person has been traumatized, they relive the past through triggers in their environments and daily life occurrences. Sometimes it's as if they are literally living both in the past and the present simultaneously. It's so hard to get over the past that they box up the memories and their related pain and they stuff that box as far out of reach as they can mentally place it.
But eventually, holding that box inside becomes a host of physical ailments. Tight muscle knots throughout the abdomen, choking the words, becoming literal armor protecting the severed and broken heart inside. Despite their wishes and dreams of who they might want to be in this life, the person slowly slips into social phobia and agoraphobia.
The only thing that has really helped heal me is talking... and writing. I have told the stories over and over, in more and more detail each time. Granted, this process has taken the better part of 6 or 7 years from when I first began learning about the effects of trauma. But, let's face it, quite a lot of that was dealing with the denial. None of us wants to admit we are just weak little humans, capable of being traumatized. But, I have learned through the process of healing, that trauma doesn't make you weak. It makes you an emotional body builder. Tough as nails.
Merriam Webster describes trauma as "a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury".
So, my advice to anyone who thinks they may have been traumatized, and I'm willing to bet that at some point or another we all have been to some degree, is to get that toxic sh*t out. Write it down, tell any f*ing person who will listen. Scream it out in the middle of the f*ing woods if you have to...
We've all been hurt, and we've all hurt other people. And hurt is only healed by letting it happen, letting ourselves feel it, and finally releasing it.