Life is messy, unpredictable, incomplete, and terrifying. If we live long enough, we will inevitably come face-to-face with painful life experiences that leave us feeling anxious, scared, and helpless.
As humans, we all find ourselves somewhere between the emotional need for safety, security, and comfort, and the fear of loss. Any disruption to that delicate balance (psychological and physiological homeostasis) may cause trauma.
How we process the threat level related to traumatic events coupled with the effects of those experiences—the disquietingly turbulent emotions and memories—can last months, and for some, years.
Although I cannot recall the psychological distress that followed my kidnapping as a toddler, I imagine that ordeal was one of complete horror for my mom and dad. Especially them not knowing if I would be found, and if found, whether I would be found alive.
Significantly painful events are part of the human experience, and when they do occur, it often requires a system reboot—and sometimes, the reboot never happens, which leads to suffering.
“Trauma is not your fault.”
The upsetting emotions of having our innocence sullied and our humanity ripped away leaves us feeling confused, angry, sad, hopeless, and more disconnected than ever.
The Greek word for trauma literally means wound, damage. This meaning supposes that if we were to examine the word trauma in its original context, trauma should be soulfully treated and tended to with care to facilitate a lasting and healthy healing process.
Tending to the wounded, the trauma survivor, is vital. Focusing on the quality of the relationship between the wounded and those who seek to care for the individual in crisis is equally important.
“Everyone deserves to heal in a safe and stable environment.”Tweet
Those of us who temporarily find ourselves on the outside of trauma ought to be mindful of the role we play in helping to restore some degree of balance and normalcy in the lives of trauma survivors.
Understanding that trauma is an isolating place for victims should compel us to think and rethink our approach to helping anyone who finds him or herself trying to make sense of the sudden feeling of emptiness and loss.
At the heart of the quotes in this chapter is a singular message, and that is, regardless of where, how, or why it occurred: Trauma is not your fault.
Thank you for reading. I invite you to comment below. I’d love to hear your reaction to my thoughts.