LAYERS AND LAYERS OF TRAUMA

We are living in the midst of trauma.
We are experiencing many layers of traumas, right here in our lives today.
We are in the midst of global trauma,
national trauma, state trauma, city trauma,
family trauma,
and individual trauma.

It has changed our lives forever,
just as any trauma does.

We have so much to do to take care of ourselves and each other
in the very present, very current trauma.
And we need to do that!
We need to take every precaution that
we come through the trauma as safely as possible.

Layers and Layers of Trauma
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This is the message that complements Judith's blog post on the same topic: https://judithbarr.com/2020/03/28/layers-and-layers-of-trauma/

At the same time …
we need to know
that without a doubt,
each time we, as individuals
go through a trauma in the present moment,
it triggers and reawakens – consciously or unconsciously –
all previous traumas we have experienced.
All the way back to the beginning
of our lives
and even further …

So although we already have so much to do
to take care of ourselves and each other
in today’s trauma …
if we fail to also become aware of
and work to heal the past traumas that are triggered …
we will end up creating more trauma in the midst of this trauma.
We will act out in ways that are painful not only for us,
but also for others around us,
near and far.

We might lash out at others, blaming them for what we are feeling —
perhaps fear or helplessness (among many other feelings)
instead of feeling our own feelings about today’s trauma,
and the feelings from our childhood triggered by today’s trauma.

We might crawl in a corner, literally or figuratively,
paralyzed by today’s trauma
and the feelings from our youth triggered by today’s trauma.

We might refuse to help people
or get in the way of their receiving help,
instead of feeling what’s triggered –
how we were deprived of help when we were little.

We might lie about the dangers in today’s trauma,
or be horribly susceptible to the lies of others …
just as we were when we were tiny children,
being lied to and either not knowing it or
having no choice but to believe the lies.

We may expose others to the dangers of the virus,
refusing to take responsibility for our harmful impact on each other …
just as people in our childhoods refused to take responsibility
for their destructive impact on us.

Once again …
although we have so much to do
to take care of ourselves and each other in the layers
of today’s trauma …
we will make even today’s trauma worse
if we fail to also become aware of
and work to heal the layers and layers of
past traumas that are triggered.
We will end up creating more trauma in the midst of this trauma,
and more trauma still in the days, weeks, months, years,
and generations to come.

This is both a trauma and an opportunity . . .
an opportunity to learn;
an opportunity to grow;
an opportunity to heal;
an opportunity to transform
ourselves and our society …
what we do in the midst of this trauma
and those traumas to come;
an opportunity through healing to the root
to co-create ourselves and our world anew.
It is, in the beginning, the middle, and the end …
up to each of us and all of us together.

© Judith Barr, 2020

This article was posted in Trauma

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