How Trauma Can Create “Blind Spots” in Processing Information

By Eva M Medcroft

Emotional “blind spots” are created as a defense from trauma but may lead to re-traumaization.

I've recently noticed something interesting in my own experience that I'd like to share. As I've transitioned from living on Anna Maria Island to St. Pete and shifted my focus from working at an ad agency to coaching individuals who have experienced trauma, I've been doing a lot of gig work that involves driving. During this time, I've discovered a blind spot in my new car, but it's not a literal blind spot that I can't see. It's more of a blind spot created by my brain not always registering what my eyes are seeing, especially when I'm tired after a long day of driving.

This got me thinking about how our response to trauma can also create blind spots in our lives. When we go through a traumatic event, big or small, we often protect ourselves by retreating into our minds. We rationalize, filter, and process our experiences intellectually, without fully acknowledging the emotional and physical impact.

The problem with this disconnect between our emotions, body, and mind is that our biological system is designed to process information through all of our senses, including our energetic and intuitive sense. Recent studies on trauma have shown that information is processed not only in our brain but also in other parts of our body, such as our heart and gut.

Our brain, heart, and gut are connected through the neural network and the vagus nerve. The neurons in these areas play a crucial role in processing information and generating reactions. In fact, our gut is often referred to as our second brain because it houses a significant amount of our serotonin production.

After trauma, we tend to weaken the connection between our brain, heart, and gut as a defense mechanism to avoid pain. By suppressing our physical and emotional responses, we miss important cues and diminish our overall intelligence by ignoring a significant part of our neural network. This creates blind spots, preventing us from fully processing information and recognizing red flags.

These trauma blind spots can lead to repeated trauma when we're unable to perceive and avoid dangerous situations.

Reestablishing the connection between our brain, heart, and gut is a vital part of healing from trauma. As a trauma coach, I utilize mindfulness tools and training to rebuild the neural pathways that protect us and facilitate healing. By integrating our brain, heart, and gut, we regain our ability to process information fully and notice potential dangers, allowing for true healing and growth.