Events of recent months in Belarus have left many scars on our "collective body". A body remembers everything, a body does not forget. A body is shocked, a body shrinks, a body freezes, a body punches, a body runs, a body does not move. A body cannot relax, a body spasms, a body gets numb. We lose meaning, we become hypervigilant and reactive, we can experience painful flashbacks, we can cry bitterly, we can get angry, we can feel trapped, we can stop sleeping and eating, stop deriving pleasure from familiar things, from work, from relationships. We can feel ourselves misunderstood, dumb, and humiliated. We can feel helplessness and loss of control, as well as the impossibility to seek support and ask for resources, even if there are some.
A trauma is an episode of such overexcitement of the nervous system, and a person cannot cope with it the usual way because of the lack of adequate support, resources, and time.
It is the impossibility to overcome a certain event. In the case of Belarusians — a sequence of intense, repetitive, unexpected, cruel, and frightening events; the whole frozen complex of thoughts, feelings, and decisions created at the moment of a traumatic situation, which cannot be revised or assimilated. Any reminder of the situation can actualize this complex, then the trauma "hurts" — and the person time and again experiences those emotions that they experienced in the traumatic situation.