Posts Tagged ‘trauma’


Do you know what an ACE is?

This is no small question. Understanding this might improve your chance of understanding … well, everything. Read more…


Beyond fight or flight

I recently wrote on a now-lost scrap of paper that trauma is a grenade, not a bullet. It breaks into splinters, lodging bits and pieces of itself along and through every inch of you. You can remove dozens of pieces of shrapnel and still have hundreds or thousands left over.

Over time, you get used to the remaining splinters. You adjust your stride to minimize the pain they cause and sometimes even forget they’re there … until.

Until something rubs up against one of them, and you’re reminded not only of the pain now but the explosion then. Triggered.

Hamilton has recently opened my heart to the wonder of musicals.

Thanks to Hamilton, I was excited to watch the Tony Awards for the first time ever this year.

I settled onto my couch to watch them with my husband and our friend Ra. All was well until an innocuous exchange between them rubbed up against jagged shards within me, adding raw new pain to old entry sites. Read more…

Weave Them into Silver: conversations about safety

Someone once told me he didn’t get the point of blogs. He couldn’t imagine sharing his life with random strangers.

“That’s great,” I told him. “That means you probably haven’t had the kind of experiences that would crush you, if you didn’t weave them into silver and share them with others still needing to find the silver in their own trauma. May your life forever be so peaceful!”

More recently, someone read something I wrote about trauma and couldn’t understand why I felt traumatized. She meant nothing cruel by it and, indeed, shared loving words together with her confused ones, so that I breathed deeply and told myself to be thankful she didn’t understand. I’d written a simple, factual narrative instead of bleeding my heart out into words. I’ve already done that bleeding. I don’t need to bleed out again in each or any post touching on that particular trauma set.

Me, at age of testimony

Me, then

I felt her inability to understand the trauma was also in part because I’d narrated factually instead of emotionally. Her response reminded me of being a child witness against the family friend predator who’d molested my sister. He’d once placed his hand on my own barely formed breast to test how I’d respond. (Rachael has written poignantly about surviving being a warrior here.)

Rachael’s attorney counseled, “No one is going to believe you. They’re especially not going to believe you if you’re angry. You need to cry. You need to show how much you hurt. That’s what jurors want to see.”

He was disappointed with me after my testimony. As he’d feared, I was too angry. He’d told me to cry! Why couldn’t I do that one little thing? People believe trauma in tears, not clenched jaws and fists, after all. It’s just the way it is.

(I believe you, whether you show your grief with cries of rage, cries of pain, or clenched fists.)

Two girlfriends recently told me about two different men abusers trying to control them. Read more…

Boo YOU, motherfucker.

Last week I wrote a post that’s left me feeling wrecked.

I’ve written about predators from my childhood before. But never, ever before have I written–or even thought–about them all together. Doing so was so devastating, even thinking about this blog has since left me trembling and queasy.

I think I might know the cure. It comes in the form of reposting an October 2011 post I accidentally deleted with hundreds of others.

I want it to have a place here again. I want it here as my reminder I am more than broken.

I am a force greater than fear.

Boo YOU, motherfucker.
Originally posted October 14, 2011

I felt confident and sure as I strode down the hallway in my new pantsuit.

I knew the case. I enjoyed pushing my comfort boundaries. Best of all, on the other side of the mock trial, I’d be closer to finishing my hated first year of law school.

All was well as I set foot in the classroom setting of my mock trial.

Then I was in the room, and I remembered. Read more…

One month

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