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In The Trauma Heart: We Are Not Bad People Trying to Be Good, We Are Wounded People Trying to Heal–Stories of Survival, Hope, and Healing, Judy Crane explains how trauma should be defined. Trauma, she explains, is “any life event or series of life events or ongoing life events that create a negative impact on your life that changes or distorts your vision of yourself and your place in the world.”

Often, the way that people see themselves in the world after experiencing, and then trying to cope with, trauma is in a very isolated way. Judy Crane once explained that “Trauma is incredibly isolating and makes you feel like you’re alone in the world.” However, that isolation is not unique. Everyone has a story, whether their story involves trauma or not. Every story of trauma is unique, but it is still a story of trauma. The isolation one feels as a result of trauma is also a shared experience with others who have experienced trauma. Still, the story of being completely alone can be compelling, creating a form of trauma-based narcissism that puts all the focus on the self.

Recovering from trauma takes time and the work, as Judy Crane explains, is ongoing. Thankfully, there is a philosophy in recovery.

Trauma is incredibly isolating and makes you feel like you’re alone in the world

Nobody is unique even though every story of trauma is different

Not using trauma as an excuse

The amount of work that trauma takes is ongoing. Treatment is the beginning of change in the way we see trauma.