English Composition I
1 May 2019
Childhood Trauma Creates Inner Strength
You're rushing around your house and you accidentally knock a precious vase to the
floor. It smashes into pieces immediately. What do you do next? Do you see the vase as garbage
now and throw it in the bin? Do you collect the pieces and try to put them together exactly as it
was? Or do you pick up your favorite pieces from the pile and use them to create something new,
like a mosaic?
Compare this broken vase to the troubles you’ve endured in childhood. To the trauma
that has carried on well into adulthood. Do you let the pain take over or do you learn from what
you experienced? Childhood trauma, although devastating, can create inner strength into our
An article from the New York Times describes this positivity as “post-traumatic growth”.
“The suffering that resulted from these horrible experiences was not an endpoint. Instead, it acted
as a catalyst, pushing these people to change for the better” (qtd. in Rendon New York Times).
Growth begins with healing from trauma. It is not a free pass to avoid suffering. But, as
researchers now know, people have the capacity to do far more than just heal. As described by
Rendon, “Given the right environment and mindset, people can change. Using the trauma, the
suffering, and struggle that ensues, as an opportunity to reflect, to search for meaning in their
lives, to ultimately become a better version of themselves”.
Psychology Today goes more into depth of the meaning of “post-traumatic growth”.
Susanna Newsonen describes it as, “accepting the trauma as a part of you. It's about accepting
that it can change and evolve who you are … about acknowledging that personal growth can be
found from the suffering that comes from trauma” (Newsonen, Psychology Today).
Although the pain and suffrage of childhood trauma can break a person, accepting this
pain gives the opportunity to build themselves anew.
Upon further diving into my research, I decided to survey my own theory. I wanted to
better understand how trauma has impacted other people. With some responses being from
family and others from complete strangers, I interviewed people on the streets to see for myself
how successful my theory is by asking four simple questions; Have you ever experienced
childhood trauma? Do you think this trauma made you stronger? Where are you in life now?
Lastly, are you happy? My results were very successful as each person I interviewed shared
something new. It dawned on me that everybody has a story of their own. A story to tell. This
only inspired me to keep on making progress in my own research.
The first person I interviewed was my own mother who experienced a severe case of
bullying throughout her childhood. “I felt hated to the world. Once those kids burned my house
down it felt like there was truly nothing for me…” (Mercado). When asked upon if this trauma
made her stronger as a person,...