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The Things We Do Because of Trauma


A childhood filled with trauma resulted in dissociative identity disorder (DID) and has led to some very specific behaviors on our part.

Because of trauma…

We shy away from touch.

We try to blend into the woodwork.

We understand and can read the body language of others.

We are hypervigilant.

We know when others are uncomfortable and need space or attention.

We feel we can’t wear tank tops or swimsuits. Self-harm scars have taken care of that.

We care about others deeply.

We have been in therapy for over 20 years.

We have no friends.

We are scared of the wind.

We can hold space with someone who is hurting.

We don’t want to cry in front of others; then “they” will know how to hurt us.

We don’t want to cry at all. Even when alone. the past is always with me. “They” will know.

We understand that emotions are scary and messy.

We know what depression is, and know it is anything but a joke or a cry for attention.

We see things others don’t see — emotions, body cues, glances, etc.

We understand human behavior (especially children’s) when they have been hurt.

We dissociate.

We pick the skin around our fingers.

We hurt the body.

We want to be alone… with someone.

We are able to sit in silence.

We feel like the world is not safe.

We are certain I don’t matter.

We have met some wonderful people.

We have a willingness to listen and learn.

We have a hard time allowing weight to be lost and stay off.

The attention we garner from a smaller body is rarely worth it.

We take psychiatric medication, and have for over 20 years.

We are not afraid of people who are hurting.

We are afraid of death and people dying.

We are compassionate.

We are passionate.

We have empathy.

We fear being vulnerable.

We clench my jaw.

We feel shame.

We isolate.

We prefer darkness.

We want to help others.

We enjoy being real.

We hide who I am.

We hide inside my own mind.

We can still be a kid. Can play. Can find joy and fun in being read to and swinging on swings.

We create art.

We are many.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

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