My little guy’s first name starts with T and when he was learning to read and write, everywhere he turned I would hear, “Mom there is a big T.” or “Look, Mom a little t.”
In the therapy world “Big T” and “Little t.” Have been coined to represent something else. Big trauma (T) and little trauma (t). It’s common to minimize our experience, “it wasn’t that bad” or “it could have been worse.” Minimizing our experience is an open invitation for avoidance. Avoidance is a risk factor for post-traumatic symptoms not an antidote.
Having permission to categorize our traumatic experiences into Big T or Little t, allows us to appropriately label our experience.
Notice I did not specifically label certain experiences in either circle.
Because that is not how this works.
Trauma is a mind-body reaction. It occurs when events overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope with emotions, sensations, and other information connected with the experience.
What makes an experience traumatic, what experiences leave you with post-trauma symptoms. It is not black or white.
As a maternal mental health specialist, my hope is this arrangement helps you see your experience with birth, motherhood, infertility loss, reproductive history in a way that validates your experience.