Does ANYONE have an easy, trauma-free life?

Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2003 09:47 am
Sorry, Letty. The exact quote is:

. AUTHOR: Francis Bacon (1561-1626) QUOTATION: He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either...

Who was echoed by Henry David Thoreau.
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Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2003 09:56 am
hey, Noddy. Don't be sorry. I like correcting my thinking. Perhaps it was JFK quoting Thoreau quoting Bacon (who was really Shakespeare) who was quoting God Laughing
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Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2003 10:17 am
Decision making and getting to go out in the world (age appropriate) to play and try new things is called the 'dignity of risk.' When children get the message that their parents trust them enough to let them take chances and make decisions, they do tend to become more flexible.

Circomstances make such an enormous difference. The presence of mentors such as aunts, uncles, adult friends, etc. can literally be a life saver. Children who grow up in constant fear--to the point of hesitating to go to the bathroom for fear that father/mother might see them and make a remark or do actual physical harm, will never be able to trust without some 'other' role model.

Genetics, nature, nurture cannot be separated in my opinion. But circumstances like age at which a trauma happens, the length of the trauma--hours, days, years, will have a major effect on the child's ability to rebound.
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Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2003 08:59 pm
While so many things have cause and effect on our ability to handle trauma and the effect to which we do as has been discussed, one thing has not been mentioned.
Personality....although a combination of genetics, envirionment, nurture help establish our personalities there is still something in our personalities that is ours alone...or some would argue our soul or our strength that is inborn.
The only reason I bring this up is that I know 3 sisters born into a very traumatic life. Each one has reacted differently and been scarred differently from the events. Because they are sisters and the only thing that could be reasonably explained to these differences is something else which would have to be individual personality, inner strength, etc. And it is a large difference from anti social, to your typical whiny why me, to I wont let the trauma have power over my life for these 3. I find it interesting, thats all. Could be one in a million, could have something to do with birth order, something only their therapist knows, whatever.

Easy, trauma free life....umm..yeah, okay...that would just be too much to handle..all that happiness. Besides that would cause smiles and didnt your mother tell you your face would stay like that??? Smile
Really though...the whole small traumatic events we really arent even aware of surprise some, shrugged off by others, and down right not noticed its all good...its life...get over it. Wink
BTW Ive heard a few people expound about the serious trauma of birth itself...it only gets worse from there so...how could anyone have a trauma free life?
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Child of the Light
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 10:13 pm
My life is pretty good. I have no worries really, and I can do basically whatever I want, and I have everything I want.
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Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2003 01:08 pm
Sorry, some random drivel that came pouring out and sort of touches on this thread (I'd hate to just move it to the recycle bin in this era of compulsory information overload)...

Okay, so, every person's brain is always evaluating information coming into it and determining, first and foremost, whether it indicates that the current state of being is conducive to it's well-being or working against it. Not that this is happening consciously ? this is what emotions are for, and without them the burden on the part of our brain that deals what street to turn onto to get to the store with the good Italian bread and how chaos theory is really just the study of how we study things (or some such nonsense) would be crippling. (This is one of the reasons I am convinced that animals are, by necessity, emotional creatures, even if the precise range of motions they experience may not be exactly analogous to ours, but that is beside the point.)

So, we've got all these bits of information coming into our head all the time. Some lower part of our brain ? and I mean this literally: emotional experience always involves increased activity in the midbrain ? is responsible for monitoring this information and telling the higher brain whether it's good, bad or indifferent. Because there are so many of these bits coming in at once, a normal brain should always be receiving some good signals and some bad signals (let's call these signals "protoemotions," for the sake of our (which is to say, my) little discussion here). Monitoring the balance of these signals is how we gauge our well-being.

Now, most people have some ability to recognize cues about this balance in other people. (Some, like my downstairs neighbor, don't, and they're psychopaths, but that, like the presence or lack of emotional experience in animals, is another story.) We can usually glean from another person's body language whether they are, on whole, doing well or doing worse. The survival implications of this are obvious. If someone's doing well, we might want to stay with them, do what they do, and maybe we'll do well, too. Conversely, if someone's doing poorly, we might want to avoid them (lest they wish to muscle in on whatever it is that's contributing to our well-being) or help them (if, say, they're well-being is somehow tied in with our well-being, as with a mate or a child).

To summarize again: we're all experiencing some mix of negative and positive protoemotions all the time, and we are, to some extent, able to detect these in others, as well. Of course, we don't always respond to these subconscious cues from other people on a conscious level: more likely (because we want our conscious brain to be free to reason and make up for what our subconscious can't really handle), we respond to them with protoemotions of our own. This is what we call empathy. You feel bad, it makes me feel bad. You feel good, it makes me feel good. However, since you're likely felling some measure of good and bad all the time, you make me feel good and bad all the time, too.

Now, suppose we are not necessarily equally sensitive to the good and bad emotions. Suppose some people respond more strongly to the positive ones (those with a high happiness set point) while others respond more strongly to the negative ones (those with a low happiness set point). The people with the high happiness set point will be more inclined to interpret the sum of their good and bad protoemotions in a positive light. The people with the low happiness set point, on the other hand, will be more inclined to interpret the sum of their good and bad protoemotions in a negative light. Thus, if there were some way to quantitatively measure these protoemotions we've made up, and set up a situation (we'll call it the null state) so that the sum of the good (+) and bad (-) protoemotions would be exactly zero, the first person would experience the situation as beneficial to their well-being while the second person would view it as detrimental.

Now, if we've accepted everything up to this point (which you, the reader, are by no means obliged to do), then it follows that each person, if capable of empathy, would have the same reactions to another person in the null state would be the same as their reactions to themselves in the null state: the first person would interpret it positively, the second negatively. Myself, I think I tend to have a low happiness set point, so I am more sensitive to negative things going on in myself or another person. I see, often consciously, tensions in other people that they aren't even aware of. (And so I can give a killer backrub, but I tend to either be a little nervous about other people or feel pity for them, depending on whether I view them as a competitor or as a teammate.) I know other people, though, who tend to respond differently to the majority of other people, who react even to complete strangers as though that person makes them feel better about their own state of affairs. Perhaps these people are picking up on the good protoemotions, however scant they may be, in the people they come across.

Or whatever. Just blathering hereĀ…
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Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2003 03:50 pm
LOL! Nice blather. I would tend to interpret some of what you are saying via the language of cognitive schema - that is, that our early life experiences tend to give us a framework of beliefs about how the world operates that then begin to influence which aspects of experience we tend to attend to.

Optimists, by the way, tend to analyse situations less accurately.

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Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2003 04:17 pm
it also depends when you ask people whether their lives are tragedy-less. some years ago i would claim my life a disaster, looking back at it now the then tragedies appear quite funny and petty, walk in a park.
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Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2003 05:15 pm
I would tend to interpret some of what you are saying via the language of cognitive schema - that is, that our early life experiences tend to give us a framework of beliefs about how the world operates that then begin to influence which aspects of experience we tend to attend to.

That's funny. I arrived at it by ruminating on neurophysiology....
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