Underestimating the Impact of Small Childhood Trauma

Underestimating the Impact of Small Childhood Trauma

In this episode we will talk about the small traumas.  As adults we tend to underestimate their impact on our life. But as a child we perceived things in a slightly different way. Sometimes we might have a negative filter and see things worse than they actually are.

Listen to this episode to learn more about the formation and impact of small trauma and what tools we can use to heal.

Listen to the show


You will learn

  • The difference between big trauma and small trauma
  • The importance of our inner child
  • The psychology of a child



Hello, dear friend, in this episode I would like to talk about under estimating the impact of the small childhood trauma. Yes, it's another episode on trauma. But this time, I want to talk about something specific. And what I want to exclude are the big traumas. The big traumas are those that we can really evaluate as traumas, even as adults. And those are the unquestionable traumas like abuse, sexual, physical violence, the things that are undoubtedly horrible, and that, of course, no child should go through. And the things that even as adults, we recognize as really painful, really problematic. Kind of like defining who we are and what we do, perhaps, sometimes we even think about them, or we still dream about them, or we are still afraid of those. So those that are undoubtedly big traumas. And those that are, as I said, the most horrible things are not the subject of this episode. Because I want to talk about something different. I'm in no way saying that the big traumas are not important, we should definitely address them, heal them, work with them, process them. And I'm in no way under estimating them. But I want to talk about something different in this episode. And those are the small traumas. What do I mean by small trauma? Those are things that as an adult, so let's say that now you are in your 20s, or 30s, or 70s. So you are an adult. And when you look back at your childhood memories, you remember things that are having been okay. But somehow, as an adult, you don't consider them as something dramatically important. So the adult in use as well, that was not great, but what can you do, there are much more terrible things that happened to people and children. So that's just not that important. And we kind of like, underestimate the impact of those experiences or memories on ourselves. And here, the possibilities are countless, this might have been, for example, a very critical parent, extremely demanding parent, or a parent who every now and then has have used harsh words, or have rejected you emotionally, or have been this done. Or there is a story about, for example, being grounded when you haven't really done anything bad. So I'm talking about things that at first sight may look kind of insignificant compared to the really big trauma that people some people might have been through. And when you compare them say, well, that's just not that bad. Unfortunately, there are so many other people who have been through worse things. And it's interesting that sometimes, if you have been also through a really big significant trauma, you may also do the same with your smaller trauma. You may also under estimated and you said you may say well, compared to those really awful things that's not really significant. So, why is this important actually and what is happening? What is happening is that we are evaluating things as adults from the point of view Have the grown up person who knows how many other things might have happened and have happened to other people. And the adult who is also kind of like, detached from all of those memories and experiences. And from that point of view, we tend to say, okay, that's not so terrible. And it's already behind my back. So we kind of like under estimate this the impact of those experiences. The Why is this a problem? This is a problem, because it's the adult that's thinking those things. But the child back then, who have experienced the small trauma, the small injustice, the bad manners, the bad treatment, whatever, this child didn't know, anything else. So just imagine, you are very young or small child. And what you know about the world are only the things that you have experienced, you don't have the capacity to evaluate all the possibilities, you don't have the knowledge and the information about what happens to other people, what kind of stories there are, what you know, is only based on your personal experience, and hopefully you have some good memories. Hopefully, there have been nice things that have happened to you. But there's, I think, in every human life, also, things that haven't been okay with us. And the important thing is that when you're a child, even the small injustice, even the you know, thanks that for the adult don't look like that dramatic or important for the child. It's their whole world. So being criticized, being harshly treated, being grounded without reason, or being blamed for whatever your sibling has done, or, obviously, there are so many possibilities for the small child, that's their whole world. And for them, it could be traumatic. Even if the adult says, Well, there are so many more awful things. So let's just forget about this one. The truth is that the inner child within you has not forgotten about those things. And they are shaping who you become as an adult. And they may even trigger some responses later in your life that you are confused about, you don't understand where is this coming from. And the inner child is the one that has been hurt, that has been mistreated, and the one that needs to be healed. So why I made the distinction between the big trauma and the small trauma, because we don't tend to do the same thing with the big trauma. The big trauma is awful. And as an adult, we still evaluated this awful. So it's kind of like, clearer and more visible there. But with the small trauma, sometimes we don't even call it the trauma. We call this okay. It was just a negative childhood experience. But you know what, it doesn't matter. Yeah, it actually matters. It's still affecting you it's still somewhere inside of you. Because for the child back then this has been a big deal. And because they don't know anything else, for them, that's like the worst that has happened. And for them, it is a big deal. So we need to look at the situation. Look at the memories. From the eyes of the child, not the adult, not the person who already knows how many more awful things are possible in her happening to other people.

Because the child has a different perspective for the child, that's the worst. And that is bad enough for them sometimes too few also traumatized. Another thing, which is very important here is that for the child, the most one of the most traumatic things, is to be subjected to something that they feel they don't deserve. Children sometimes are doing bad things, we know that we have been children, maybe we have our own children. And we definitely know, we have seen other people. So sometimes, the truth is that a child can do something bad, for example, they may hit their sibling, let's say. And if they're being grounded for something that they have done something bad they have done.

And the consequence is kind of like, logical. This is not traumatic. Let's say the sibling is hitting the other sibling. So they are being grounded, let's say they won't watch television for a week, or they won't have their phone, or they won't get the dessert at dinner, for example, when the child internally feels that they deserve it, it's okay. It's not traumatic. And of course, I'm not talking about physical violence, I don't think that this is ever justified. But sometimes, the child needs to understand that what they have done is wrong. And there are appropriate ways to do that. And whether when that happens, this is not traumatic. What's being traumatic is when the child feels like they receive something they don't deserve. For example, one of the siblings is doing something and then the other one is being punished or grounded. That's unfair. So this is also something very important to look at the situation objectively. And, again, for the child, Justice is very important. If they do something wrong, they know they have done something wrong. And if there are logical consequences, it's just like, a logical check with reality. And that can be healthy, but receiving something that you don't deserve. This can be traumatic for the child. And very often this happens with the small trauma, constant criticism, or blame, or harshness, or distancing, or negative words or whatever. This can be very traumatic for the child, when they don't feel like they actually deserve it. Because very often, they actually don't deserve it. So what I'm saying here is that we need to look from the eyes of the child, and we need to evaluate things from their point of view. And we need to process and work with those memories and experiences, from their point of view, not the adult who may kind of like you know, okay, it's behind my back. Now, the important it is important for the child. Also, another thing I want to address is to pay attention to your own filter. What do I mean by that? We all have some kind of representation of the external world. And this is like a different point of view. Sometimes, we may see things more negatively than they actually are. So what we might be doing is That we may have a negative filter, we may see the world as harsher than it actually is as kind of like a cold place and negative place, which may not be true. So keep it in mind. Again, it's a question of exploration, and it's a process. But it's very helpful when you can explore your own childhood memories experiences, and try to reassess them and observe. Is it possible that you have some kind of filter through which you are watching and evaluating things. And sometimes you may realize that you have both like a negative imagine this, like blackish filter through which everything looks darker, everything looks more negative. And there are different ways that we can approach this, we can work with metaphors, we can reframe. We can use, of course, matrix reimprinting, and EFT to reshape those memories to look at things from a different perspective, and to process and heal the small trauma. And the last thing I want to address in this episode is kind of like on the flip side of being a parent. Because I think that there is kind of like a modern tendency for us to overcharge and over criticize parents. Yes, it's true that no parent is perfect. And I think that in every childhood, we may find something that hasn't been okay. Something that has influenced the child, perhaps in a negative way. And we tend to blame the parents all the time. So I want to kind of like remind you also, that when you're doing all of this work, keep in mind that parents are really doing the best that they can. And sometimes that could be very little, but it's still the best that they were able to do at this point. So it's also helpful when we are working with our own childhood experiences and memories, to bring some compassion for our own parents, even when they have misjudged us, when they have done something that hasn't been fair, even when they have traumatized us. If we can bring even a little bit of compassion for them. This is also healing for ourselves. And sometimes it's more difficult than it sounds, sometimes, it's a longer process. But think about it, how in psychology, in the modern books, everywhere, parents are constantly criticized. And look how many of us also criticize our parents. And when we become parents, we also see the other side, the flip side of this row and how it's not that easy also to be a parent. And normal parents don't hurt their children intentionally. Even though there are so many hurt people, adult children. In many cases, it's not intentional. Again, I'm not talking about the terrible cases when someone is mentally ill and they hurt their children and those like, this is like a different story. But very often, there are children and people who are hurt by parents who didn't mean to do that. And when we can bring a little bit of compassion and understanding for our parents, we tend to heal our own small trauma easier. So this is an interesting journey. It can be very Healing because we don't recognize the potential that it can bring. Again, the big trauma is so much different we recognize the negative dark influence it has on us how it has, you know, shaped the US and the fact that us and we tend to understand that if we can heal that if we can work with that, the impact, the positive impact for us will be huge. But with the small trauma, we underestimate, the impact. And we also underestimate the positive influence of healing and working with those memories. So it's a big thing. It can be very rewarding, and it can be very, very healing. So if you are willing, I want to encourage you to go on that journey, and explore those experiences and memories and to unlock the healing potential of this work. Thank you so much for joining me Have a wonderful week, and I will catch you next time.

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