Moving beyond trauma, or putting the past behind you, is something that is very individual. While we may lock the beast in the closet and turn to other things as though the trauma is out-of-sight - it may not be out of mind. If the choice is to ignore or avoid a traumatic event, there can be subtle or not so subtle intrusions of emotions into our daily lives that need to be acknowledged, but instead are repressed - putting a lid on it so to speak. But hiding the event in the background is not the same as working through the emotions around the trauma, and so is it possible to just forget and move on?
This depends on how honest a person can be with their own self - and how much self-examination a person is capable of. Many of us, when hurt or violated in some way, feel anger or resentment towards the supposed perpetrator, which is normal. But when these emotions drag on and reappear in other forms such as arguments at work, a depression that can not be lifted, and the constant background noise of the voice in our heads that keeps persecuting us - "I'm not good enough", "Men (or women) can not be trusted", "I am responsible for the trauma, its my fault" - or any number of other "conclusions" that drift into our thoughts and affect our relationships, health and outlook on life - then the trauma is still active and destructive at some level. Being able to look at one's self is not so easy for many of us. Being critical of others or events that have happened to us points us away from the problem. To truly overcome the effects of a trauma will depend on how intense the trauma is / was, and how willing a person is to look at it face on. Some people have that inner strength and self-evaluation to accept that they are being affected and make efforts to heal. They may talk with others, do energy or bodywork, get professional guidance from a counselor or some other method of releasing the trauma. But many of us do not recognize the ability to step outside of our emotions and look at events in a transparent non-personal way. It never hurts to talk with someone who is compassionate. Sometimes friends and family are too close to us to share the details of a traumatic event. We worry that their view of us will change. Talking is a powerful way to move the energy that is held inside of us. As they say, time heals all wounds, but they don't say how much time it will take. One thing for certain - at some point the trauma must be released, through acceptance, forgiveness or replaced with new ways of looking at the event. Getting help from others - even just having someone listen to you and hear you completely can be very meaningful. Connecting with networks of others who share a similar trauma can also help to put a perspective on what has happened. But just ignoring or stuffing a trauma away will most likely cause it to emerge in some other negative form. Only the individual can answer honestly whether or not they are being affected by the trauma still. If so, it may be time to get help moving that stored event out of the memory bank, or to look at it in a new way.