Trauma is an emotional response to a severely distressing event or series of events that overwhelms an individual’s ability and capacity to cope. Anything that interrupts the integration of the emotions involved in an experience would be considered traumatic. The first type of trauma is like a ball-peen hammer against a sheet of glass, the glass representing the internal structure of the personality. Depending on a variety of factors (the thickness of the glass, the weight of the hammer, the force of the swing, the number of previous hits), the glass can be left with a single ding, or spider-web cracks; larger fragmenting cracks, with broken out pieces; or, completely shattered in pieces on the ground, with nothing left in the frame but a huge hole.
The second type of trauma is more like waves against the sand and rocks on the shore. At first, you don’t see much happening, but the constant flow of water and recurrent crashing of the waves undermines the foundation of the land. It erodes the sand, wears down the resistance, and cuts into the rock. The constant pressure begins to leave deep gullies where the flow of water begins to collect, and soon the gulley turns into a canyon. Eventually, the sand is washed away, the dune collapses, and the foundation is swept away in the waves.