Only read a few paragraphs tonight in the PTSD book and believe I will say a few things. The following from two or three sentences of the portion just read. And for the present, these thoughts, too, will go unedited.
Just when you think things are generally understandable, trauma may often be something that happens to change one’s entire course of life. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Whatever it is that may happen, you no longer feel in control…..you feel vulnerable…..difficult to make sense of things…..the meaning of life as you recognized just a short time ago now is gone. Your sense of reality has been altered: feelings, thoughts, relationships, behaviors, attitudes, dreams, hopes. Gee, might that not be everything? Yet, it can be a way for the survivor to find a new purpose in life. A new direction. It “can” be. It “may” be. It might be. For the fortunate. For those not stricken too severely and with some sense of reality.
Like a refugee, “they” have exited the land of hurt and loss. They want to get on with their life. The journey, though, is long. The backpack they carry is heavy. It is weighted down by their particular issues. Whether right or wrong, and undoubtedly not parallel, I like to refer to this ‘backpack’ as their thorn in the flesh. It is what they have been given. Or they have been gifted with. They have been found worthy and capable of living with whatever it is. We all have something or other, some issue. No one is immune. Sort of like the Scripture, “There is NONE righteous, no not one.” In this case, for ‘righteous’ substitute perfect. (Pronoun switch, since fortunately only a sub-group has been affected by trauma.)
Sort of like a crossroads in the path of their life. Two choices: they can turn around and head back to the world of trauma or they can go on. Can they persevere? In my last post, I mentioned the qualities of perseverance and persistence as being grueling. They do take a toll on one’s body. To go on requires great effort. It is difficult. I really doubt one can fathom the effort this takes unless they have been on the receiving end of a traumatic experience. It is something wished on no one.
Nevertheless, it would be true that the grass is greener on the other side. The sun looks shinier, clouds appear fuller. With a greater sense of appreciation they can view the world and those they love. So trauma can be seen, then, as both warping and reshaping their worldview. But not only that. It permits them to see things in a whole new light, with a sense of gratitude like no other.