Often when we hear the word “trauma” we think of huge, world-changing events, such as 9/11, Pearl Harbor, famine, or car accidents. While all of these things are forms of trauma, there are also subtler traumas that are more common for most individuals. In my , I present a questionnaire regarding childhood and your possible memories and experiences of trauma. By working through it and answering the questions, you can assess whether or not it could be helpful for you to get professional help in order to process your current struggles by facing their source — childhood trauma.
Who did you go to when you experienced intense moments of emotional or physical pain as a child?
- One of my primary caregivers.
- Another trusted adult in my life.
- I usually isolated myself when I was in pain. I did not know who to go to for help.
- I would often respond through strong physical and emotional reactions that would cause me to get into trouble and would have negative consequences. No one responded to my pain in a way that was helpful to me.
How would you best describe your experience in your home?
- My home was a safe place where I could relax and enjoy myself.
- My home was fine. It was a place where I would eat and sleep, but I did not spend much more time there.
- My home was full of tension and conflict. I would try to avoid it as much as I could.
- My home was a place of terror and shame. I dreaded every moment that I was not at school or somewhere else away from my house.
How would you describe your relationships with your current loved ones?
- I am so grateful for my close friends and/or partner. I feel as if I have a support system that I can rely on in times of trouble.
- I have some pretty good friends. I like to have fun and hang out with people, but no one really knows much about my emotional state or my experiences growing up.
- I don’t have anyone that I can trust. Usually when I get close to someone, I end up getting hurt by them or hurting them. I prefer to live in isolation, and even the relationships that I do have now are not healthy.
How do you experience your childhood memories?
- I have very fond memories of my childhood. I think about things such as comfort, love, laughter, family, and fun. I have a pretty sequential memory of how things were.
- I feel like my childhood was pretty average. I have memories of good times and bad times.
- My memory of my childhood is pretty fragmented. I don’t have a lot of sequence for how things played out, but I have intense visual and physical memories of unpleasant events.
- I don’t like to think about my childhood. I often feel overwhelmed with shame, guilt, and fear when I think about my past. I try to stay focused as much as I can on the future, or I don’t like to think about time at all.
Christian Counseling to Process Childhood Trauma Effects
If you have answered most of the questions of this childhood trauma questionnaire with a 3 or a 4, there is a strong possibility that your current struggles in life are caused by childhood trauma effects. Everyone has experienced some forms of grief, loss, tragedy, and pain in their lives. The support system – or lack thereof – that a child experiences sets a clear trajectory for how these experiences will form their later life. If you feel that you have experienced a mixture of hard events and a lack of support as a child and an adult, it is important for you to seek out counseling. Christian counseling will provide you with a safe and supportive space in which you can learn how these experiences and relationships have led to various struggles in your life. As you begin to recreate, or create for the first time, the place of safety and support that all people are meant to have, then you can begin to dissect these experiences of your life and gain healing and redemption from the traumas you may have experienced. As a trained Christian counselor, I look forward to offering you such a space that is free from judgment and condemnation, but enables you to experience care, attunement, and support.
“Life – Dublin, Ireland,” courtesy of Giuseppe Milo, Flickr CreativeCommons (CC BY 2.0); “Always Look on the Bright Side,” courtesy of Strollc Furlan – Davide Gabino’s Photostream, Flickr CreativeCommons (CC BY-ND 2.0)