The Why of Trauma
I am signed up for a course on trauma next week. I am super excited because it is being given by the leading authority in trauma and it is FREE! I can’t believe it!
Ok, so most people I know wouldn’t be so excited about this...but I am because I feel like the more I can understand and learn about trauma and how it affects people, their lives, reactions, love relationships, work ethic, coping strategies, addiction issues, the more I can understand people. And the more I can understand people, the more peace of mind I can have within myself.
Trauma is something that I always knew messed people up but until recently didn’t really understand how one could heal long standing traumas and lead a completely different life. And I am not talking theoretical here, I have actually done it myself.
I have seen the ravages of trauma, the pervasive devastation the occurs in lives of people so afflicted. How much they are alone dealing with the lasting and life altering effects and how much they could live a completely different type of life. How much, if addressed, trauma could be rather summarily put to rest and the person and everyone in their lives could walk on relatively free of all the trauma laden reactions and binds. But that is not what usually happens. People suffer from their trauma. Usually throughout their lives. I think this is why addictions have soared for years. So many traumatized people walking around perpetuating more trauma on themselves and others. It is actually probably the largest health crisis we will ever face, and very few people are dealing with it directly. Why?
There are lots of reasons, many of them social-political reasons but also because trauma sits inside a person and feels like it can’t ever be helped, changed. The person has had this horrific thing happen and there is no place to escape, nowhere to go and now their lives are ruined. All they can do is try to numb out and get through, day after day until whatever they have chosen as their escape mechanism turns them into a heroin zombie, a meth crazed lunatic, a bug eyed gamer, a financially devastated shopper or an obese foodie. The variations of addictive coping are endless. Sex, money, food, drugs, alcohol, love, gaming, vaping, smoking, exercising are the most popular ways to numb out. What is common is the following equation: trauma + escape mechanism(s) = life that is fucked up from ever having love for self or others that is healthy and life affirming.
Maybe traumatized people can have it for a little while but whatever their check out or escape, will always takes it toll eventually. It cannot be otherwise. It is so incredibly sad. To see the heaps of humans wrecked on the solutions for their traumatic pasts that are usually so not their fault but theirs to live and deal with nonetheless.
So I am totally jazzed about this seminar. Anything I can do to learn more, so that I can heal myself and carry the message to others. That is what I am beginning to think my purpose is. To be of service to trauma and its far reaching and lasting aftershocks. Kind of a weird life purpose (I certainly didn’t pick it) but it picked me so I am just going with it.
What I have learned so far is that I can always run but can never hide. Trauma is going to always win in the end, kind of like reality. I can pretend, check out, run away, adamantly refuse to accept or believe that I am being impacted and thwarted in my life because of shit that happened years ago, or I can sit down and learn all I can about how trauma works, how it maims and how to heal it. Then I can take it out into my life and work diligently to heal myself and make myself available to help others do the same.
I wrote yesterday about searching for meaning. And I think this is my why. Why I am here. Why I have the life I do today. I am supposed to work with all the shit that happened and do my best to heal from it, to watch how it morphs and changes and threatens to always fuck up my present with long reaching tentacles from the past. I can spend the whole of my life running like a person seeking safety from some dreaded sea monster who is never content to wait at ocean’s edge, instead being more than capable of latching onto me and affixing itself to me and then altering every single thing I do, say, or feel for the rest of my life. Or, I can stop running, sit down and learn to heal that from which it all emanates. I can see that it isn’t really a monster at all. It is just some really horrible stuff that happened a million years ago that is still kicking my ass today. Because it lives inside me, and I will never have any peace in my life until I heal it. And I can do that, a little at a time, day by day and if I do the work, I can help others do the same.
This seems like my why. Now I just have to figure out my how.