Trauma tagged posts

They came alive again

November 10, 2016 psychologyWriting  No comments

SPOILER ALERT: from this point on, I will be examining Running to Stand Still in-depth. If you haven’t read it yet, and don’t want it spoiled for you, stop reading now.After trauma the world becomes sharply divided between those who know and those who don’t.

Whether the trauma had occurred ten years in the past or more than forty, my patients could not bridge the gap between their wartime experiences and their current lives. Somehow the very event that caused them so much pain had also become their sole source of meaning.

In the group they found resonance and meaning in what had previously been only sensations of terror and emptiness.

When you can’t be fully here, you go to the places where you did feel alive—even if

Read More

From a song he’d once sung

November 3, 2016 psychologyWriting  No comments

SPOILER ALERT: from this point on, I will be examining Running to Stand Still in-depth. If you haven’t read it yet, and don’t want it spoiled for you, stop reading now.“Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into the deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.” – Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Charlie has been looking back at that note on the table for the past nine years. And just like Jamie, everything he does, everything he is, is marked by that moment. It is his most defining characteristic.

Now, being left by your wife and the mother of your children may or may not constitute a legitimate traumatic event. But it is the moment that has defined his life ever since she left. And so, just as people stay stuck in trauma, he is stuck in the

Read More

Lost in the playback loop of horror

October 20, 2016 psychologyWriting  No comments

SPOILER ALERT: from this point on, I will be examining Running to Stand Still in-depth. If you haven’t read it yet and don’t want it spoiled for you, stop reading now.

On top of how prolonged trauma marks and defines Jamie’s life, the effects of trauma are brought again into sharp focus when she is attacked in the parking lot.

Some effects of trauma:

Loss of Self

    

Numbing

 

The Reorganization of Perception

Easily triggered The stress hormones of traumatized people, in contrast, take much longer to return to baseline and spike quickly and disproportionately in response to mildly stressful stimuli.

Read More

A truth as strong as gravity

October 13, 2016 psychologyWriting  2 comments

SPOILER ALERT: from this point on, I will be examining Running to Stand Still in-depth. If you haven’t read it yet and don’t want it spoiled for you, stop reading now.“The greatest sources of our suffering are the lies we tell ourselves.” Elvin Semrad

To understand Jamie is to understand that trauma marks every single part of her. Everything she does, the way she thinks, the way she perceives the world, are all systemic of the prolonged trauma inflicted on her by her mom leaving, and the consequences of her subsequent downward spiral into drinking and drugs.

But to understand trauma it to understand that, above all else, humans are wired to survive.

The most important job of the brain is to ensure our survival, even under

Read More

The body does not lie

October 6, 2016 psychologyWriting  No comments

Working with trauma is as much about remembering how we survived as it is about what is broken.

I read The Body Keeps the Score before I started on the second draft of Running to Stand Still, partly out of personal curiosity, partly because I had every intention of going back to school for counseling or social work and I was trying to learn as much as I could in the time before I applied to graduate programs.

Turns out, I actually didn't want to go into counseling or social work (people are exhausting, I prefer books and characters). But reading TBKTS was not in vain. As fate would have it, TBKTS ended up having a huge impact not only on the story I was working on but on my very writing itself. I was able to draw bits and pieces of information

Read More