Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Musings On Trauma


Perfect Moment:

This is not the type of photo that I usually take.  I usually take dog photos!  Sometimes I take photos of people and scenery, but even those photos usually contain a dog.  Last night, however, as I was preparing for bed, I glanced at my magic mirror (yes, that’s how I refer to it in the privacy of my brain) and realized that it was getting quite dusty and that the rivulets of dust were wonderfully atmospheric!  It turns out that there are a bunch of  other things I really like about this photo, too, and it turned out to be a perfect moment.

1-    I love my periwinkle wall

2-    I love my books

3-    I really love the bookshelves that my husband built for me

4-    I also really love the molding that he stained and added in that room

5-    My husband really loves me.  He gave me the mirror, too. 

6-    I really love my husband!!!

 UPDATE: My delightful friend Mariah who also grew up in Edna Bay was inspired by this to take a photo of her own magic mirror! Do you have a magic mirror?  If so, please feel free to pop by my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003956200354 and share a photograph or written description!  :-)

Thoughts About Coping With Trauma:

How much trauma can a person cope with?

The answer changes from person to person.  It also changes within a single person based on a whole fleet of variable factors including the type of trauma, their current energy levels, what supports they have in place, etc.

Whether we’re experiencing trauma right this moment, processing past trauma or processing our response to trauma that other people experience; we do it best when we actively work to stay in balance.  Too much trauma and we find creative (and not always pleasant) ways to shut ourselves down with dissociation, compulsive and/or addictive behavior and other distancing activities.  Too little, and we live in the dangerous land of denial where we never learn to cope and where a flashflood could rip through and drown us at any moment.

Years ago, my very wise therapist suggested that I think of this state of balance as a titrating portal; contracting to slow the flow at times and expanding or dilating to increase the flow at other times.

You may think of it like the pupil of an eye, the shutter on a camera, the doorway of a spaceship or a fantasy portal between worlds.  However you visualize it, I hope you keep this portal in mind today and titrate according to your own needs and circumstances.

May you have a gentle day and one filled with perfect moments.