“Who Would You Be Without Your Trauma” and Other Nonsense
There’s this really strange question about who one would be if one hadn’t undergone trauma of some kind. It’s nonsensical, because not all trauma comes from abuse, and the entire notion of someone being "other than what they should be" is just trash.
Even if I had no trauma from abuse, I'd actually be much the same. In that my values, my humor, my joy, my self-love, my dreams would be the same.
The differences would be that I'd have more outward space to express it all. I'd actually be relaxed and much less frustrated. My conditions would be more bearable, but I still wouldn't be "healthy". I'd likely also be able to afford to take care of my needs, because much of the trauma simply comes from lifelong impoverishment.
My circumstances would be different, and different aspects of my core would be more apparent, but that's less about who I am (adaptable and neuroplastic like every single other human being) and more about the easy the world is set up to affirm or deny. My self-love must border on what they term narcissistic (though it isn't) simply because that's the way to survive in a world that hates, denies, and erases every bit of you every moment of every day.
The idea of being someone else, as if you aren't supposed to be who you are, is insulting as fuck. How can you, the expert on your trauma and the master of survival, be a waste? Would they rather we were ignorant and apathetic like those who profit from our trauma?
How could they even take survival and turn it into something hideous and empty by making you second-guess who you are and claiming you're "meant to be" something other than what you are?
Gaslighting is the most insidious part of abuse culture, because as soon as you accept anything less than truth, less than reality, they can tell you any damn kind of nonsense.
The choices available to you will always make the difference, not some strange notion of trauma somehow warping you. Those who care more about "who you are" than actually fixing and addressing power imbalances - or providing you with support so the impact isn't totally devastating or just understanding that trauma is an organic part of life and isn't synonymous with abuse - are just wasteful and talking out their ass.
You have worth that lies beyond what some jackass who hasn't survived anything thinks you should be.