Tuesday, October 7, 2014. I am being haunted by a trauma that both exists and does not exist. I evidently don’t know how to tell the difference. As I now decide to write a post about this I realize that I am dealing with the difference between a minefield and a different kind of mine. One that holds something of value. Something desirable. Something useful.
One of the significant problems with traumas is that while I continue to believe they hang around after their actual occurrence in time and space in large part because they contain information we need to know and make use of for the future. Learning from the past in order to create a safer, better future is a good reason to mine the minefield of a trauma. At this point in my thinking, then, my two images begin to merge and overlap.
There is always far greater danger for people who have been, as Dr. Bruce Perry suggests it, SENSITIZED by trauma. We are the people with the long-term lingering and often overwhelming difficulties caused by how previous traumas altered our physiological make-up.
Perry also describes the far more desirable and advantageous response to trauma of increasing our TOLERANCE so that we can flexibly and positively respond to past and present traumas without being sideswiped or overrun by them when they happen or later as we heal from them and/or ever face another trauma that resonates with our past experience.
I cannot deny that my extreme sensitization to trauma — because I suffered so much of it and because it began as my body was developing in this world post-birth — is hyper-active now.
I woke Tuesday two weeks ago to find the following text from my dear daughter waiting for me on my phone. She had left late evening on Monday the 22nd in a fleet car from the university where she works, driven by her research assistant Lori*, to get an early morning head-start on arriving at a Tuesday morning conference on Spirit Lake Reservation. They were 35 miles east of their night’s motel destination at Devil’s Lake when the unthinkable occurred as they drove through the pitch blackness of a moonless middle-of-nowhere west on a remote North Dakota (speed limit 65 mph, high quality two-lane paved) highway.
1:27 am September 23 – “Part of a major multicar accident on highway 2 on way to devils lake. we are OK but there were fatalities. Waited 3 hours for tow truck. Now taking us to DL and will get car tomorrow so can go home. Feeling very grateful, but sad. No more travel in the dark for us. Love you xoxox”
I pause in my writing at this point to consider a decision I will make here. If I choose to protect readers of this post from exposure to horrifying facts about what happened in this accident I will write very little if anything past these words.
If I choose to give myself permission to write whatever comes to me past this point I risk exposing readers to TMI – Too Much Information.
Hummmmm…… Fork in my blog post road. What path will I take?
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