Experiencing shame after a traumatic occurrence is common because of the helplessness it induces. This humiliation can then lead to concealment, which can further entrench the emotion of shame. Fearing and avoiding it becomes a rational response. Negative coping behaviors may begin at this time and last until the individual decides to confront the traumatic experience's associated feelings.
The after-effects of such occurrences are not easily forgotten. On the contrary, traumatic occurrences are life-altering experiences that may change one's perspective on oneself, others, and the world.
It is natural for people to strive to forget or avoid thinking about traumatic events as a means of survival, especially if the events were particularly harrowing. However, the price paid by resorting to such survival techniques is that the traumatic event tends to dominate the individual's life rather than being just one of many.
As a result, the trauma becomes the person's guiding principle, and he or she spends the rest of his or her life attempting to manage and/or avoid the effects of the trauma.
This is something that can occur in one's conscious or unconscious mind. Because they haven't dealt with the trauma in any way, these people continue to feel its effects acutely, even if it may have been months or even years after the traumatic event actually occurred.