The Summery – October 2nd, 2022

It’s finally Fall!

I’m not a Pumpkin Spice lover but I am a lover of cool weather, long nights, windy days, and Halloween candy. I could not be more relieved that the summer is coming to a close so that we can put these Southern California heat waves (and their associated electricity bills) behind us.

And yes, the irony that the season I’m named after happens to be my very least favorite is not lost on me.

Here’s what’s on my mind this week!

What I’m Reading

Lifting Heavy Things: Healing Trauma One Rep at a Time

I just started this read but I can already see myself recommending it to sooo many survivors. I don’t talk much about this, but weightlifting was and is actually a key part of my own recovery journey.

Weightlifting gives me a true experience of embodiment, even when I’m overwhelmed and anxious and too antsy for a yoga session. It also makes me feel strong, capable, and confident. It calms my nervous system, grounds my body, and releases alllll the endorphins, endocannibanoids, and serotonin.

I HIGHLY recommend this read !

What I’m Listening To

Rainbow by Kesha

If you’ve been following along, you know that I love pop music about trauma. Kesha’s album “Rainbow” is one my absolute favorites, and while listening to my liked songs on shuffle the song Rainbow came on and made me cry.

These words in particular stood out to me:

Got kaleidoscopes in my hairdo
Got back the stars in my eyes, too, yeah now
I see the magic inside of me

Yeah, maybe my head’s fucked up
But I’m falling right back in love with being alive

Trauma might fuck with your head, but recovery helps you to fall back in love with life and that is the most beautiful thing I’ve heard in a song in a while.

What I’m Wondering

What “counts” as trauma? How do we differentiate between discomfort, distress, and devastation?

I was interview on a podcast this week (I’ll let you know when it comes out!) and one of the things we discussed is how we can define trauma. We also wondered aloud together if the popularity of trauma on social media has lead to a gradual dilution of the term.

I feel of two minds on this topic.

One the one hand, I know that more people have trauma and don’t know it than people who think they have trauma and don’t. I also know that trauma isn’t what happens to you, it’s what happens inside of you.

And yet I still find myself wanting a special, unique, sacred(?) word to describe the experience of complete and total devastation.

I want people who have had everything in their life torn up to have the language to communicate that with the people they know and love.

Writing these out honestly just gave me some clarity and some resolution to my wondering.

Perhaps the solution to this in our language is the differentiation between “Big T” and “little t” traumas.

“Big T” Traumas are those that are easily accepted and understood as traumatic – assault, abuse, violence, natural disasters, the untimely death of people we love. These are experiences of complete and total devastation.

“Little t” traumas are attachment injuries, they’re being a social outcast, they’re moving to a new country where you don’t fit in, they’re break ups, they’re financial crises. (Any and all of these could rise to a big T Trauma also – this stuff is SO nuanced.) These are experiences of distress and overwhelm that can lead to a trauma response without the right supports.

And still…I wonder. I wonder why it feels important to me to have a special word and understanding of “Big T” traumas. I worry that I may invalidate or come across as dismissive of “little t” traumas. And a part of me, the part that survived a Big T, wants to feel seen and understood.

It’s complicated to think about and write about. Thanks for sticking with me.

Since this is in blog format now, feel free to leave me your thoughts and your comments below!

Be kind to yourself and take care of yourself!

With love,



  1. Dawn Lybarger says:

    Thank you for writing your thoughts and wonderings – so relevant – in such a clear and succinct way. A pleasure to read and connect with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I'll send you an email when I post a new blog!

Thank you!

Copyright 2022 Summer Forlenza