The Dichotomy of Preverbal Trauma: Dr. Sizer Dissects Alli’s Case

A quick stich of bites I put together from last October’s interview. My team and I will be meeting with Dr. Sizer again next weekend to film some b-roll.

But I digress. I think this brief snippet—more specifically, Dr. Sizer’s ending quote—embodies the emotional heart of Paper Birds from a survivor’s perspective: “I can only imagine that someone who would feel something so strongly and not be able to say ‘that’s where its coming from’…must have been very, very highly anxiety provoking.”

To speak a little bit more to the scientific side of things, below is an excerpt from Dr. Liddy Carver’s piece, “The Signs of Preverbal Trauma”:

“Preverbal trauma involves trauma that happens in early childhood, usually before speech and language development. This, therefore, makes identifying the trauma particularly challenging. Sometimes the strongest experiences of PTSD stem from a time wherein you have no clear memory or way of articulating where the trauma stems from…Due to how early on the trauma occurs, the event is stored in a disorganized way. People may not even be aware of their own traumatic experiences at a young age as trauma can impact brain structures, leading to a block/memory loss of the traumatic event…preverbal trauma does not have a clear word or memory that triggers a PTSD response. Instead, they might have flashing uncomfortable images or uncomfortable physical sensations with no cause.”

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