Awakening to Trauma

I wake up slowly. Both in the morning and with my own personal growth. Changes at 30 had me wonder am I traumatized? Is my past with me here in the present? Have I not laid this to rest or worse is there a whole world I had never noticed lying down there.

I don’t experience Trauma as something talked about publicly. I experience it as something to hide and pretend it’s not there. I once asked my grandmother “what was like taking the boat from Germany to the United States?” Her candid response was “you look hungry I’ll make you a sandwich.”
This is the way my family deals with pain and trauma. We ignore it. Hoping the ignorance will convince it to go away. But I have learned that isn’t how this works. That is not how any of this works. For myself I have discovered that healing is a public phenomenon. You don’t have to lay out your dirty laundry for everyone to see, but you do need to show it to someone.
For me, this was my first real therapist. It was like pealing back the bloody pussy bandage of my childhood and finally asking “is this normal? Does this look healthy to you?”

But don’t we all have it on some level, trauma I mean? As my life cracks more and more open I think about trauma as a uniting human experience. As the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor it had not dawned on me that my grandmother’s experiences at 14 had an impact on the way I grew up, my family structure, on what is seen as acceptable behavior and interactions.
So how does one deal with trauma that no one talks about and isn’t blatant or public for that matter? How does one deal with quiet, forgotten, ignored family trauma?

I think it all starts with showing one person. Just one. Because secrets don’t heal, but language does.


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