a note on trauma

trauma is a still-unhealed wound, still carried within oneself

traumatic event, or traumatizing event, is the thing that caused the trauma

often ‘trauma’ is used to mean traumatizing event.

this seems fine to me, so long as the meaning is understood.


The distinction between trauma and traumatizing event is perhaps not widely understood or recognized.

Do you see why this is a good difference to recognize?

Besides writing, SeekerFive creates visual art and designs under his Leaf Town brand. Some of these can be seen on Instagram @leaftowndesigns, https://www.instagram.com/leaftowndesigns. Currently he is emphasizing face mask designs.

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13 thoughts on “a note on trauma

  1. Traumatizing event–a horrific thing that occurs in a particular time/ place.

    Traumatizing event continued and repeated over time (i.e. police killing black men on motor stops or jogs or in their bedrooms.)

    Also, traumatizing event that a person is not able to release and move on
    due to a person’s inability or refusal to let go
    due to the society (group) not letting go (i.e., racism, sexism, homophobia, misogyny.)
    Ric d. Stark

    1. I would say that the trauma (differentiated from traumatizing events or continued patterns of events) is the unhealed effects of those events carried within the psyche. Whether from a single event, multiple, or a continued and continuing pattern of events.

      It would be great to also have a term for repeated traumatizing events like you give examples of. Now that you bring it up, I remember repeatedly finding myself as a loss for satisfactory names of phrases for that sort of continuation of traumatizing events.

  2. The traumatizing event is the stimulus, the trauma is a person’s response to the event. The two are different and only connected stochastically.

  3. I appreciate Dr. Gabor Mate’s perspective on trauma. He says that “trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside of you in response to what happens to you.” No matter the fracture, wound or event, WE are different (and adapt) in response to what happens to us.

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