“Trauma is a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to be a life sentence.” - Dr Peter Levine
To put it in simple terms, trauma is anything that overwhelms your body’s ability to cope. Any experience that is too much, too soon, too fast - or too little for too long - for your nervous system.
Some examples of trauma: surgery, infertility, a break-up, living in poverty, bullying, having had an emotionally unavailable caregiver, a car accident, sudden death, serious illness, difficult child birth.
It is important to emphasise that trauma is different for everyone. We all respond to situations differently, so not everyone who shares an experience will have the same reaction. An event that seems normal to someone else might be traumatic for you. It very much depends on how the event is registered in your nervous system and on the resources you have (or have had) in your life that support you and create resiliency. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to think, feel, or act after experiencing a traumatic event.