Impetus

We’re often told that children are resilient creatures, as if to somehow comfort our fears about the uncertain fate of traumatized children. The truth is that children do not overcome trauma unscathed, regardless of their resilient nature to adapt and survive. Scholars like Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and Dr. Bruce Perry have written books demonstrating that the chemistry of the brain changes after a traumatic event, thus impacting future function.
What these statements really do is shift the focus away from the fact that traumatic events are happening and many children will have to grow up dealing with the psychological effects of their traumatic experience(s).

My thesis explores how defense mechanisms formed during a traumatic childhood can impact an individual’s seemingly small, mundane interactions with the world, well after the trauma has passed. My thesis will shift the spotlight back to the trauma in order to focus on educating others about the long term effects, thus reinforcing the immediate need to better identify children in traumatic situations and supply them with resources to mitigate the long-lasting effects. 
My thesis concept came out of my personal interest of learning about how my childhood trauma impacted the way I handle daily events. Through therapy and personal research, I learned that the way I function in many environments is a direct result of my traumatic childhood. Being an overly prepared caretaker, analyzing all danger constantly, and remaining emotionally numb were a few successful methods I learned in order to survive. Even though the trauma is over in many regards, I still find myself using these methods and as a result, repeating a very dangerous cycle that I previously thought I had escaped. I want to learn how to identify my defense mechanisms and let go of them in order to lead a healthier life.