Monday, November 24, 2014

What do you do?

I was listening to a webinar with Peter Levine last week. He talked about a woman who had lost her twins at birth, they had been still born. She was in a catatonic state of immobility and was just staring into space with shock. She belonged to a tribe of about 26 people who performed a ritual every night for her when she left hospital. On the fourth night she responded by breaking down and sobbing and the entire tribe sobbed with her. That’s the importance of community, none of us are islands and resolving trauma is a hell of a lot easier when you have support. As Peter Levine said, “She was back”, she still had a lot of sorrow and grief but she was back.

That is the essence of trauma, losing a sense of who you are.  So what do you do if all you’ve known is trauma? Who are you then? What do you do when you don’t know who you are because you’ve never had the opportunity or the safety to find out?

Carolyn Spring’s book shows just how strong the human spirit can be even after suffering horrific ritual child abuse. It can be a long and arduous road to discovering who you really are, but it is possible with the help of some kind souls and your self. In fact, I’d say it’s essential to reveal your true self and be true to that self, even if sometimes it seems the price you’re paying is too high. The price won’t be as high as keeping it all inside.

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a cloud be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
~ John Donne, No Man Is An Island

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