I think it’s safe to say that our definitions of trauma are all very similar BUT how we experience and recover from trauma – that is very different.

I can’t speak for everyone but I can speak for myself and I say that trauma is a sneaky little bitch.

I’d much rather her rear end me, sending me flying head-on into a brick wall BOOM instant shatter. But no. No, that’s not her style. She waits. Patiently. Searching for an open space then swiftly but silently infiltrates and once she’s in – there’s no escape.

She starts chipping away. Not even every day. But little pieces here and there from specific places at strategic times. Fragments start falling from everywhere and once the unraveling starts, there’s no stopping it.

She wants to break me and she wants it in the most painful way.

If I had to give her a name it would be Valerie. Valerie was my middle school bully. Much like middle school Valerie, the blows of trauma started small. So small I can’t even really call them blows. Not a gust of wind but rather a gentle breeze. I guess you could call it the calm before the storm.

A simple eye roll
A point and a laugh
A bunch of books knocked off a desk
A trip in the cafeteria
A shove in the line
A piece of gum in the hair
A pin against the wall
A scream in the face
A punch in the gut

That is trauma. My trauma. That sneaky little bitch Valerie.

She makes moderate, measured movements – all generated to effortlessly penetrate barriers. Barriers I built to protect myself. Then she flanks me in a battle I’d yet to know I was facing. It wasn’t until I reached for my belt that I realized all of Valerie’s chipping away had left me defenseless. So there I stood, caught off guard and completely disarmed.

It wasn’t until the dust finally settled that I was able to see what trauma had left me.



  1. Such a beautiful post – so honest— so sad… so relatable. Is it possible for my trauma to have multiple names?

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