"I want to tell you a story, that focuses on the importance of therapeutic affirmation. The patient, I’ll call her Ellie, is a woman in her 50s who has been through more than she cares to remember. But, unlike others, she remembers. At age 5 her father died, and a series of incidents of abuse, neglect and deprivation followed. In the last 10 years, she lost a breast, she lost a husband, and as of September 11, her job lies beneath what was the North Tower.
But this day, her mind is on an incident that took place more than four decades ago. In the telling, it is as vivid as if it had happened yesterday. An eighth grader with a active imagination, she decided to relieve her depression by having an adventure. Like Toad in The Wind in the Willows, she decided to escape from her prison, i.e., her room, by climbing out the window. She fashioned a rope out of rags, she tied them together, she threw the rope out the third story window of the family house (she did not want to tear the sheets on her bed to shreds and get into even more trouble). She climbed out her window and started to shimmy down the improvised rope. There she was, hanging out her window, when the rope of rags broke. She was hanging by a thread. Literally. She screamed for help, she screamed for her mother. No one came. As in a grim Hans Christian Andersen tale, she could hear the rest of the family laughing and talking on the ground floor, the noise of laughter and talk and silverware clinking against plates mixing with her screams for help. It became apparent to her that no one would come and rescue her. She thought she was going to die. She remembers rapidly trying to figure out the best way to fall so as to maximize her chances of survival and determined that it would be best if she jumped. Jump she did: she broke her arm but she did survive, as she just barely avoided rolling off the roof". Read on
Here are a few links to people whose work on trauma I admire, the links will take you directly to their articles.
Onno van der Hart
Bessel van der Kolk
The human response to psychological trauma is one of the most important public health problems in the world ~ Bessel A van der Kolk