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What is Complex PTSD and Small "t" Trauma?

"Healing is never final. It is never perfection."

Stephanie Foo


On my home page, I pose the following question:

Do you long for transformation to feel whole and be your true imperfect self?

My answer from a very young age was a resounding YES! It's been my life's work. My passion is sharing My Imperfect Journey and the resources that have helped me!

The home page includes the following letter:

Dear Friend,

My experience with healing from complex PTSD and small "t" trauma resulted from faith and personal growth. Therapy was transformational. Community and family taught me that wholeness was attainable.

My passion is sharing stories to give hope and encouragement and provide resources to help you on your Imperfect Journey. Together we can heal, transform and live wholly as God created us to be!

Walking the Journey with You,


You may ask, what is complex PTSD and Small "t" Trauma?

According to the CPTSD Foundation, Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) describes the results of ongoing, inescapable, relational trauma.

Trauma can often be described as big 'T' and little 't' trauma. An article from Psychology Today describes the difference between the two. Big 'T’ trauma can be more obvious such as a car accident or physical abuse. However, small 't' trauma can be minimized because they are not life-threatening. The article states:

"One of the most overlooked aspects of small 't' traumas is their accumulated effect. While one small 't' trauma may not lead to significant distress, multiple compounded small 't' traumas are more likely to lead to an increase in distress and trouble with emotional functioning."

Knowing the difference between the two types of traumas was essential to me because, for years, I didn't have a name for what I went through as a child. I didn't feel that I could call my experiences trauma because there was no one big thing. Instead, there were many things over a long period with no end in sight.

I recently read Stephanie Foo's book, What My Bones Know. It is an incredible memoir about healing from complex trauma. The book's title caught my attention because, as the saying goes, "If you know, you know!" If you have experienced complex trauma, you know it in your bones, and the trauma doesn't have to be physical. It leaves long-lasting effects, but there is hope. Healing is possible.

As the quote above from Foo states, "Healing is never final. It is never perfection." So while that statement may seem dismal, I find comfort in it because healing surprises me at every turn, and I am eternally grateful.

Thank you for journeying with me! My hope is that I may support YOU on your Imperfect Journey of healing and wholeness.

Walking the Journey with You!



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