Trauma, What’s Behind a lot of Bad Behavior Choices

Trauma

It’s all about pain really.
“Trauma” means:  injury; often mental or emotional injury.
It’s amazing how far behind we are about trauma when it comes to understanding behavior.
The simple concept that people usually act out based on trauma has been veiled from the eyes of many, even skilled therapists, psychiatrists and physicians.
ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) scores contributing to behavior and choices are just now becoming a known thing.
How does that even make sense?
When I was growing up, not many seem to pay attention to the fact that kids were probably acting out in school because they had miserable home lives.
Many were living with dysfunction, instability, toxic stress, chronic chaos and even PTSD.
I’ve seen it firsthand.  I’m an example of one.
A deeper look into what students were facing at home was more often than not missed and untreated.  Leading many young students to grow up and go on into dysfunctional and sometimes even criminal lives.
Or at the very least, this lack of attention and resolution caused many to not succeed in school to the fullest of their ability, let alone life and relationships.
For many years I lived this out.
Trauma; not excusing behavior because of it, but understanding that it’s at work behind the scenes of our thinking and behavior opens the door to amend it.
Here’s the thing, people don’t typically just go plunging into chaos and live in dysfunctional patterns because there’s pleasure and benefit to it.
Similar to learning to walk with a broken ankle that’s never been corrected, it’s a result of what’s been learned, or…not taught and tended to.
It’s unbelievable that we are just now as a society waking up to the simple truth that injured people misbehave.
For some reason it’s been denied, neglected, unnoticed and ignored for generations.
Yet, we are surrounded by results of not ministering to it, with one epidemic of despair after another exploding in our culture.
This I know is true—once you know someone’s story, you won’t judge their behavior the same.
Exchanging the thought: “What’s wrong with you,” to “What happened to you?” Begins a process of unraveling.
It is the strangest missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding one another, why do we not take into account what’s been injured and never healed.
Consequences still matter, it’s for their own good as much as anyone else.  But with understanding in place, it’s a healthier approach for all sides.