A lot of people grow up with some degree of trauma. Unless we are lucky and have completely safe and loving childhoods in which all our troubles are respected and tackled together, children grow up with a distorted sense of their place in life. At a time where people naturally need continual care and positive reinforcement in a place of safety, many of us are denied one or more of these fundamentals to development.
This can make us highly sensitive to threat perception and give us an unfair expectation of our own responsibility. It causes people to hide their vulnerabilities and take on the role of an adult at an age when it's not appropriate. The poetry series Our Nexus Of Sorrows by Scott Free published by Deltic Books explores several facets of this psychological phenomenon. Penned as a Frankenstein's monster, the problematic effects of this condition are explored and stitched together. Enabling individuals to feel the inherent wrongness in the thinking and perhaps identify versions of it in themselves, it's a great healing aid for some.
When we take into consideration the limitations of people with developmental trauma and those who have surpassed it, then enable them to work in their best environment, this experience can also leave people with qualities that more than make up for the social drawbacks. Rather than take advantage of people with developmental trauma, we can recognise their natural abilities by rewarding them fairly and appropriately.
According to Jennifer Lock Oman of Psychology Today, developmental trauma survivors often demonstrate these five outstanding qualities.
A Genuine Desire To Connect And Support
Growing up in an environment that was perhaps unsafe emotionally or physically has taught people how to be the bridge builder in a situation. Having been in their best interests to maintain fond connection and genuine reciprocal networks in a situation where these things are scarce, individuals learn how to maximise these things in every environment.
Refined Empathy Heuristics
Heuristic thinking allows us to spot cues and points that signify a bigger picture. Like a join the dots puzzle, we notice subtle cues in body language and voice tone in order to establish the stress levels and cruelty index of those around us. We all are able to do this on a subconscious and conscious level however when people have developed in a situation where this is important to survival then it becomes much more focussed. The level of resolution is much stronger and we individuals are often able to read a group situation with precision.
Less Intimidated By Risk
Certain jobs have inherent risks involved. From armed forces, emergency services, to running a business, risk can be a daily occurrence to varying degrees. Some people crumble when the odds are not in their favour, some people shy away from anything that might make them vulnerable. People who have developed in an environment that was not safe have usually established a higher threshold for risk. Because every day carried inherent risks as they learned about life and developed their personalities, a lot of trauma survivors can stay calm and collected in situations where it matters most.
Being brought up where mistakes were vilified or punished and where errors were looked for and successes were ignored can teach children to strive for excellence. By minimising the risk of vindication for errors, developmental trauma enables people to learn patience and hard work in order to produce what is asked for. It's worth remembering that these people may hold a lot of stress that others do not feel when undertaking tasks.
Making sense of chaos and seeing the good in every situation is learned when it's left up to us to find these things. Often when people grow up, the world is not in their control and it can be unpredictable. Children need to feel empowered to get what they need without doing it for themselves - until they learn. If this sense of security is not available they have to take their own responsibility. At first they attempt to be leaders and problem solvers without the necessary life experience these people need but with the right guidance it's possible to help them find their feet.
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