The "Archaeotrauma" (alt. Archeotrauma) is an unfamiliar name for a familiar phenomenon: the psychological wound a horse sustains when it is "broken"; other mammals, including human beings, are equally susceptible.
The word "Archaeotrauma" has been formed by placing the linking vowel (or interfix) -o- between archae ('first') and trauma ('wound'). The term reflects:
a) The point in the evolutionary timeline when such wounds first became possible.
b) The fact that it is the first psychological wound a human being can sustain.
Why invent a new word?
The phrase 'psychological trauma' means many things to many people.
A few years ago, for example, a counselor on a BBC Radio 4 news program was being interviewed about the services offered to those who had been affected by being involved with a rail disaster.
Towards the end of the interview, the reporter asked, "What exactly is a (psychological) trauma?". The counselor replied along the lines of, "If there is a single moment when it feels as if all internal defenses are about to be overwhelmed, then that is a trauma".
That is not a trauma at all. In fact, it is the "internal defenses" themselves which are the trauma, specifically the archaeotrauma.
A person such as the counselor depicted is someone who has sustained an archaeotrauma, almost certainly in infancy (hence the "terrible twos"), and then adjusted to its pseudo-permanence.
When later involvement with something like a rail disaster occurs (and much less dramatic or obvious events, besides) then the previous adjustment to life may no longer be sufficient to keep the first wound suppressed.
In everyday life, when people say that a particular experience has been 'traumatic', they invariably mean that they have had internal contact with the surface of a pre-existing wound.
The phrase, "Well-adjusted to life" actually means, "Well-adjusted to the archaeotrauma": being internally adjusted to anything is a clear indication that the trauma exists.
The reason for the difference between the 'popular perception' of trauma and its actual reality, if not already self-evident, will become more apparent in Part 2 of "What is the Archaeotrauma?"
To sum up, the word "Archaeotrauma" has been coined in order to define a very specific form of trauma, with very specific characteristics, and from which all secondary uses of the phrase "psychological trauma" are descended.
How does the Archaeotrauma come into being?
The trauma is formed when rapidly increasing instinctive anger reaches such an intensity that a "break" occurs at a point of overload: this is why the horse suddenly appears to 'give in', or a screaming infant suddenly goes quiet and becomes 'floppy').
It can happen very fast: during the time it takes to turn a toddler's head around when they're not 'paying attention', for example, or when a parent - in 'exasperation' - suddenly holds down the kicking legs of an infant in order to put a nappy on.
Creating the Archaeotrauma: The First General Rule
If a parent's greater physical strength is equated to an immovable object, and the capacity for instinctive anger of a baby to an irresistible force, then an archaeotrauma will be formed when the one is unrelentingly imposed upon the other with the conscious intent of achieving 'unatural submission'.
a) "Hitting, "Smacking", "Striking", etc. do not need to be part of the scenario.
b) If an adult demonstrates an unnatural satisfaction in achieving psychological domination over another adult (see an attempt at this in, "The Biggin Street Incident: The Straw That Broke The Camel's Back") then this is the stongest indication possible that the adult concerned will behave in a similar way towards their own children: mal-adjustment to an unresolved psychological history gives such a person no choice in the matter at all (irrespective of whatever image the "walky-talky" part of their personality may project).
A "Hands On" approach is not the only way to inflict such a trauma on natural life, however, "Hands Off' techniques also work: applying a 'fixed feeding routine', for example, can also create the wound.
The Archaeotrauma is the most catastrophic form of child abuse that can be inflicted and is easily sufficient to cause cot death (or SIDS: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
More on "Hands On" and "Hands Off' will be uploaded at a later date.
Is the Archaeotrauma 'reversible'?
The answer is a simple, "Yes". The reason why, on the other hand, is an eight word answer that can only be properly understood within the context of non-Darwinian evolution.
If the presence of the trauma is equated to having adjusted to what has become the 'ongoing dull ache' of a dislocated shoulder, then resolving the trauma requires facing the far greater, but transient 'pain' of putting the arm back into its socket. This, of course, results in regaining full use of the arm!
Finally, as will be seen in later posts, the archaeotrauma can become compounded by post-trauma experiences. An individual who is in this position may subsequently be diagnosed as suffering from a 'mental illness'.
[First Revision: 27th July, 2009]
[Second Revision: Minor edits, 29th July, 2009]