There’s a lot more to trauma and the effects that it has on our lives that we don’t really know much about. I mean, I can understand from my own perspective some of the effects and what traumatized me over the years, but that’s as far as my specific knowledge on the topic goes. Once I heard of the documentary The Wisdom of Trauma, featuring Dr. Gabor Maté, I just had to watch it. I was intrigued by the title because I couldn’t think of what kind of wisdom you could get from trauma, other than that some people truly suck.

The film starts with a trigger warning, which I would also like to issue for this post just to be sure. Throughout the film, Dr. Gabor Maté interviews several people about the trauma they’ve been through and how it might have led them to different addictions, which can be triggering to some people. The documentary had me from the very beginning, when one of the first statements said was “Our jobs as humans is to learn from our suffering”. While I did mention that in a previous post, there are some types of suffering I can’t possibly imagine what you could learn from.

There were so many interesting things said in the first ten minutes of the film that I found myself constantly pausing it to take notes. The documentary talks about different ways a person gets traumatized, and how it’s not necessarily the bad thing that happened that creates the trauma but what happens inside of us as a result of it. And that definitely hit home.

Dr. Gabor Maté uses examples such as how having to deal with the pain alone is a reason why someone is traumatized – the mere fact that the person feels alone and isolated can create a trauma without the person realizing it. And it will manifest itself in the future in weird ways, such as if you hire a repair person to do some work but they somehow disappoint you, and instead of just dealing with it as a professional engagement, you take it personally and feel disrespected and unworthy.

One quote that hit hard from the documentary was “Trauma is being disconnected from ourselves because it is too painful to be ourselves”. I’ve mentioned before that with all of the trauma and abuse I have been through, I don’t know who I am anymore, and this made me think that maybe I never did.

This documentary is very informative for people to understand traumas, as a lot of people really don’t, and if you are in the process of healing, I would say that it is a must-watch – while also taking into consideration viewer discretion, so if you think you might get triggered, please be careful.

The Wisdom of Trauma is only available periodically, so check the website for information on the next viewing session.

By Bruna Gorresio