Trauma comes and goes in waves, ever reminding us of what remains unhealed.
This isn’t just in form of flashbacks or triggered states, but also the linking of similar pains.
Like ripples, we are reminded that while grief is always different, we remain the same.
“Nothing can be changed
until it is faced.”
– James Baldwin
Trauma sends us into a fight or flight response, from which we can emerge through movement therapy, active work and reconnecting to our body.
Recently however I had a strong reaction to a local kidnapping of a girl, stronger than I would have imagined.
I cried for weeks, was downcast, had trouble sleeping.
While I thought this was all about the recent developments, my body knew better.
What I was actually reacting to was a repeated experience of having my home violated, be it my neighbourhood, my flat, or my body.
“Knowing oneself comes from
attending with compassionate curiosity
to what is happening within.”
– Gabor Mate
I keep expecting myself to “be cured” from trauma.
I don’t think this is possible. I can recover and heal, but the scab remains.
If similar experiences pile up and I slack in addressing them, my body will make decisions for me.
This kidnapping reminded me of my flat being broken into a few months back, which reminded me of my childhood bedroom recently being emptied without my consent, which reminded me of assaults on my body.
The body does not differentiate.
If it feels life-threatening, it will respond to such.
“God has mercifully ordered
that the human brain works slowly;
first the blow, hours afterwards the bruise.”
– Walter de la Mare
The key of course, frustratingly, is patience.
With time I am becoming better with recognising the symptoms of trauma re-emerging.
I become more reliable with the support systems in place to engage with my body, be it yoga, breathing exercises, journalling, or even writing on this blog.
Finally I am learning that trauma is not a sentence, it is a door; and it is now up to me what is on the other side.