Big T vs Little T Trauma

  • 20 Replies
  • 3164 Views
*

Kizzie

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • 9206
    • View Profile
Big T vs Little T Trauma
« on: January 04, 2020, 05:58:24 PM »
Good article I came across today - Using ‘Big T’ and ‘Little T’ for Trauma Can Be a Big Mistake by Robyn Brickel, May 2019. Here's a short excerpt:

There Is No Such Thing As “Little Trauma”

Trauma is a fundamental feeling of threat. It’s a perceived lack of safety. And it’s different for everyone. Trauma is more about the impact than the cause; it’s about how the trauma is “remembered” in the body. It is not up to us to judge, or quantify or size up the impact of someone’s trauma. The only person who can do that is the person who feels it.

Bullying can be hugely traumatic. Grief can be hugely traumatic. Postpartum depression, anxiety or other mood disorders can be hugely traumatic. Trauma from embarrassment, betrayal and affairs can leave deep, lasting, tremendous impact. These things might be categorized as “Little T”—but there is no such thing as little trauma. Trauma is trauma is trauma!

*

Not Alone

  • Member
  • 3208
    • View Profile
Re: Big T vs Little T Trauma
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2020, 06:02:05 PM »
A long time ago, someone gave me the wise advise: "Never compare pain."

*

Kizzie

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • 9206
    • View Profile
Re: Big T vs Little T Trauma
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2020, 06:34:52 PM »
 :thumbup:

*

Heart

  • Member
  • 30
  • No heart of stone.
    • View Profile
Re: Big T vs Little T Trauma
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2020, 11:14:42 PM »
This is so true. I guess it goes the other way too. I mean who would want to have "the prize " for the "most trauma? A good friend I had in my teens was traumatized because he had so small feet. My first reaction was "He is fortunate!" But soon I realised that it is no subject to be competitive with...

*

Kizzie

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • 9206
    • View Profile
Re: Big T vs Little T Trauma
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2020, 05:27:25 PM »
One hope I have is sites/forums like OOTS will help people understand that the presence of the symptoms of CPTSD/Relational Trauma Response is testament to the fact that they have been traumatized. 

*

Bella

  • Member
  • 143
    • View Profile
Re: Big T vs Little T Trauma
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2020, 09:34:39 AM »
Warning! Might be triggering!!

This is so hard for me! To acknowledge what happend to me as trauma, when compared with so many others.... I really don't hope I hurt anyone by saying this, but shouldn't there be a difference between big T and little t trauma? To acknowledge the people that have experienced the worst of the worst? Worse than most people can even comprehend? I really don't want to judge the person being traumatized for having funny looking ears. I recognize I'm not in this persons shoe, sort of speak. But calling all trauma just trauma, isn't that being unfair to the person that has been enslaved for 15 years, being raped and beaten on a daily basis?
Please forgive me, I just really struggle with this. Maybe it is my own confusion and denial speaking...

*

Bella

  • Member
  • 143
    • View Profile
Re: Big T vs Little T Trauma
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2020, 10:26:01 AM »
I'm now getting really scared about what I posted before... I'm so sorry if I hurt anybody! Please don't hate me!  :'(

*

rainydiary

  • Member
  • 1883
    • View Profile
Re: Big T vs Little T Trauma
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2020, 12:52:51 PM »
What I have learned is that our brain has one way of responding to threats in our environment and it does not distinguish between the specifics of the situation.  For me, the challenge is that if we only think of trauma as the big things, people may not understand their experiences as trauma and won’t then be able to respond and manage with that knowledge. 

*

Bella

  • Member
  • 143
    • View Profile
Re: Big T vs Little T Trauma
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2020, 01:27:58 PM »
Thank you for your response, rainydiary! I do see your point.... it makes sense.... There is only one trauma respons system in the body. But why then, is it so hard for me to accept that I have been traumatized!? That the symptoms I've endured for years is evidence enough?
I just wish I could find some peace about it.

*

rainydiary

  • Member
  • 1883
    • View Profile
Re: Big T vs Little T Trauma
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2020, 02:14:27 PM »
Bella, what you say resonates with me - I also struggle with the idea of being traumatized.  I’ve been wondering if to be human means to be traumatized especially as we are in a global pandemic.  Yet, what accounts for the difference in how we cope and function?  I don’t really know.  I think there is a lot of stigma around trauma and because of how it is viewed and understood makes it hard to talk about.  I want to talk to more people in my life about it but am not sure how to even bring it up.

*

Three Roses

  • Guest
Re: Big T vs Little T Trauma
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2020, 05:07:51 PM »
 :hug: Don't apologize for asking questions! We're here to support each other as best we can. These are valid questions. In my own case it was hard for me to see and accept that I'd been abused because my FOO treated it as normal, not to be questioned or talked about. They defined it a certain way which normalized it to me.
 :heythere:

*

Bella

  • Member
  • 143
    • View Profile
Re: Big T vs Little T Trauma
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2020, 05:25:04 PM »
Rainydairy: Yes, I agree. Because of stigma, it is really hard to open up about trauma. I have always felt that my stories from childhood that I remember being terrible, kinda just "falls to the ground" when I tell people about it. Like it being nothing. That feeling also fuels the denial I guess.

Three Roses: Thank you! I got so scared earlier...I imagend how no one in here ever wanted to speak to me, or hear from me again! 🙈 Full blown drama...!!
No wonder really, that we get caught up in denial, when everything has been denied througout our whole life!

*

Jazzy

  • Member
  • 1268
  • [TW] I'm Niko <3
    • View Profile
Re: Big T vs Little T Trauma
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2021, 01:00:59 AM »
Wow, this is a really big topic... one of those "not touching that with a 15 foot pole" topics. I can't even read the title without a huge (internal) reaction.

However, I've never been one to not share my thoughts because that's easier.

I see both sides to this issue.

Some people are very hurt, but not acknowledged because others consider them to have a "little t trauma", which is just another layer of hurt on top of their already existing traumas.
Some people are very hurt, but not acknowledged because other try to steal the attention for themselves, and then they can't get the help they need for their "big t traumas".

Here's how I judge trauma:
How much of an impact does it have on the persons life?

That's it. I don't judge based on what they went through, how many times they went through it, who was involved etc. etc. If they are suffering, they are suffering, and I hope they find a way to stop the hurt, and begin to heal.

I think we've all been hurt, and we all have less than ideal reactions, which may be unintentionally hurtful to others. I really hope that we can all stop hurting ourselves and heal up, then we can stop hurting each other... and if nobody is being hurt, than there's no need to measure how bad a hurt is anymore. :)

*

Armadillo

  • Guest
Re: Big T vs Little T Trauma
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2021, 02:51:26 AM »
Whoo. Yeah.

I think I'll just say...hmm. I think that Roxanne Gay in her book "Not that bad" really laid out a strong case for not getting too wrapped up in Big T Little T cause even something as horrific as what she went through....well she and others were prone to labelling it "not that bad" and "could have been worse."

Anyone I've known suffering the effects of trauma, big or little T tends to minimize their own traumas.

*

Blueberry

  • Member
  • 8045
  • 'Should' is never good for me.
    • View Profile
Re: Big T vs Little T Trauma
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2021, 07:09:41 PM »
Some people are very hurt, but not acknowledged because others consider them to have a "little t trauma", which is just another layer of hurt on top of their already existing traumas.
:yeahthat: I'm one of these people. For a long time Ts considered me as having "little t trauma" and then questioned why I was taking so long to recover. So a double hurt on top of the old trauma. A de-validation.

Here's how I judge trauma:
How much of an impact does it have on the persons life?

That's it. I don't judge based on what they went through, how many times they went through it, who was involved etc. etc. If they are suffering, they are suffering, and I hope they find a way to stop the hurt, and begin to heal.

A very good way of looking at it :yes: :thumbup: