The Art of Trauma

Trauma is misunderstood.

We’ve been told that trauma is about events. Catastrophic events like death, severe abuse, or experiencing war.

Trauma is not about the event. It’s how we perceive the event (or series of events). Depending on what age we were, who was around us to help us navigate/cope with our emotions, how helpless we felt to change the situation, how much of ourselves + our own needs we had to abandon in order to stay safe.

Many of us had to keep secrets, stay quiet, pretend nothing happened. We learned to wear a mask. To play a role deemed acceptable by parent figures, peers, + society.

Many of us had to begin to cope by blaming ourselves because the person causing the trauma was the person we love the most— the person who’s survival we depended on.

The result of trauma is core beliefs about ourselves (usually: “I’m broken, unworthy, unlovable) about others (usually: “people are not trustworthy, everyone will leave me, no one sees or hears me) + the world around us (usually: “I’m not safe. Life isn’t safe. I need to watch my back or I’ll be harmed”)

I’ve worked with thousands of people who live life through the trauma lens. I’m still healing from life through this lens. For years I didn’t fully understand it. I kept wondering what was ‘wrong with me.’ I finally see nothing was wrong with me. I was protecting myself. Coping in ways I had learned— that we’re dysfunctional (yet seemingly normal in society.) Engaging in relationships in ways that left me feeling alone, misunderstood, + unseen— I knew no other way.

Trauma is just part of the story. It’s not who we are. It’s the beginning of separation from the true Self.

Healing is returning home to who we actually are: whole, worthy, + lovable

~ Dr. Nicole LePera (Aka “The Wholistic Psychologist”)

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