Common Characteristics of Chronic Covert Trauma Survivors
Your family growing up looked pretty good — no alcoholism, no incest, no physical violence. It’s never occurred to you to use the term “trauma” to apply to your childhood experiences.
But yet, some of these difficulties trouble you today:
- unsatisfied or lonely in relationships; sensitive to invalidation and abandonment,
- wishing for a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in life,
- physical problems including fatigue or pain
- bothered by reliance on food, cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, pain medications, internet, tv, coffee, colas, shopping,
- lack of spontaneity, zest and a sense of joy and fun,
- hard on yourself or alternately harsh and permissive,
- self-hate, even self-loathing, depression, irritability, anxiety or extreme fatigue come “out of the blue” and “for no reason”
- confusion about what is “really” bothering you and why,
- shame and guilt around being “silly” or “oversensitive” or “making a mountain out of a molehill”
You may also have some of these Chronic Covert Trauma surivor strengths:
- compassion for those who suffer
- empathetic, very sensitive to the needs of others
- responsible, dependable, reliable
- helpful, cooperative
- able to put things aside and function “if necessary” and you often feel it’s necessary
- capacity to keep on functioning while feeling distressed.
- skillful in acting cheerful, even if you feel lousy on the inside.
- self-reliant, capable of finding ways of getting what’s needed or of doing without.
- skilled at redirecting your attention away from inner states that would interfere with responsibilities and functioning in the outer world.
- do not burden others with your difficulties
If you have even a few of these characteristics, you might benefit from exploring the possibility that Chronic Covert Trauma, especially non-material Chronic Covert Trauma in your childhood relationships, is a factor in your life today.