“That was traumatic!” The phrase just rolls off the tongue after seemingly difficult situations. But I’m sure many in the medical and psychological fields of expertise would not use the word so blithely.
The word trauma originates in Greek (as I’m told all the best things do) and it means ‘wound’. This can of course be a physical or psychological wound ... amongst other things. An affair of the heart can be a trauma, as can a road traffic accident or an imbalanced mind. They all leave damage that is deep and can impair one’s future.
A question I came up with was ‘What if you purposely cause trauma to someone, what is the Greek for that?” And sure enough I found an answer. The verb for trauma can be traced back to the phrase “I injure” – I cause the wound. I cause the damage. This may be in the form of upsetting someone, offending some group of people, or damaging people.
Whether the wound is accidental, self-inflicted or forced upon an unwitting subject it all results in the same end: a wound. An injury that in some way mutilates the person.
I know I will be more careful about how I interact with people because I have seen too many people suffering from the result of careless words and actions. Some people die because of the trauma that others inflict on them, their wound never heals. This is beyond sad.
We have to care for ourselves ... and also others. The wounds of humanity are like a gash in the world’s soul.
We need to heal it, one kind deed at a time.