Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Trauma - an overview

Trauma.  What is it?  What is PTSD?  How does it affect someone?  Does it affect someone you know up close and personal?  How will I know if a loved one is affected by trauma?  How do trauma survivors heal?  Or is it even possible for them to heal?  More specifically, am I a trauma survivor?  If so, how can I heal?

I've started this blog with the link to a you tube video called "Invisible Heroes:  Survivors of trauma and how they heal": an interview with Belleruth Naparstek author of the book by the same name.  Although my traumas are not physical life or death instances, a car wreck, a mugging, etc., I am the equivalent of an emotional, violent, deadly wreck.  The emotional equivalent of the car wrapped around the telephone pole, the train beside the track with cars upended, overturned, every which way.

I possess all of the symptoms presented in this interview.

Like the emerging dawn of a new day
Trauma victims can emerge from their hidden world of darkness into the dawning of a new life
In the video clip, Belleruth goes into Franny's story.  In her book, she details more about Franny's story, how they met, what the initial counsellor was like, etc., as well as others' stories.  How she as a therapist became involved with and immersed into the world of trauma.  What she learned from treating Franny and other victims of trauma including survivors of the Vietnam War.  What works.  What doesn't work.  Why we are the way we are.  Tools trained, committed therapists can use to help us out of our prison, out of our darkness into a world of light and healing.  Into a world where the past traumas no longer intrude, no longer have power over us.  Into a world, where we can function normally and integrate ourselves into long-term relationships.  Into a world that we no longer believe exists.

How can this happen?  How we can leave the world of our trauma, our descent into incredible darkness, behind and emerge into a new, light-filled world?  How indeed?

Belleruth emphasizes the use of right brain activities, guided imagery and affirmations, to calm and sooth the chaos running rampant within each hero, each survivor.

She calls us heros.  Because we have seen the darkness and somehow managed to survive.  Because we have the inner strength to survive against all odds.  Because we live.

Every day I challenge the darkness, the chaos within.  Every day I struggle to rise in a triumphant manner like the sun rising above the eastern skyline.  Giving light.  Muted at first.  Becoming brighter each moment.  Changing continually.  The higher it rises, the more vivid the colours become.  The stronger the light.  I stretch my arms out towards the light.  I embrace the light.  I embrace the new day.  I embrace the challenges before me this day - today.

I am an invisible hero.  I am a survivor.  Let the challenge continue.  I am ready.

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