The following is partly verbatim extract from the video of Diane Langberg’s talk on trauma I reblogged earlier, and partly some of my own thoughts interspersed. We so badly need to speak about our trauma and be understood, heard and validated. The paradox is that so much of trauma is hard to articulate at first, our body carries a hidden burden that often is so difficult to give form and substance to, but it is so important that we try.
Trauma silences human beings partly because there are no words to really describe what that was a like. It brings emotional darkness, isolation because you feel like nobody cares or even if they did they wouldn’t understand, it makes time stand still because we get so lost in what happened we cannot see ahead we have lost hope
Trauma heals through : talking : tears: time.
When somebody does not talk when all of that is shut down they are broken emotionally (and deeply wounded in a wordless space). People often will not talk because the pain is so great they cannot find the words. Or they talk over and over again not touching the real deep place. To remain silent is to fail to honour the event, the memory. (It is so hard to find the words…. words are often so inadequate when it comes to trauma. After a major trauma in the beginning often there are no words. (Can we ever really explain what trauma is as it goes into the body? The body knows!) Dance it! Draw it!
To recover from trauma we must find a way to live in the truth and not pretend. Minimising trauma, saying it didn’t hurt, should not hurt or leave lasting effects is wrong. That is silencing.
Talking says I am here I am alive and for people with trauma that is a huge step. Most of all letting someone talk or being there for them shows you have ‘care for their broken heart’.
Most especially sometimes what really helps is to sit in silence with the person. Join with them in the darkness. Let them know by your presence they are not alone in it.
Most important is gaining power over trauma by learning to tell the story. At first trauma will come out in fragments that slowly have to be pieced together. Telling and being listened to restores the interpersonal bridge broken in and through trauma. It CONNNECTS us to others and to our trauma. When we are believed our trauma is validated.
Thank you so much Broken Blue Sky for sharing Diane’s video with me. She speaks of things I did with my sister who died and never got free of her deepest traumas, but how could she. I often just sat with her and held her hand. How often I have wished someone was there to do that with me. 🙂