Tuesday, March 22, 2016

When Trauma Comes To Stay

      Do you ever wonder what life would be like without trauma? I simply cannot fathom it, even though it has only been 8 years since we began to become intimately familiar with the term. Only 8 years, but those years have taken us on the steepest learning curve of our lives.

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      Trauma does something to a person, it totally reshapes who you are and how you relate to other people. I can't say it has done me any favors but maybe they are still to come.:) 

    We have completely redesigned our lives to acclimate trauma. It pushed it's way into our life and we learned to make the necessary changes as we went along. Dean says, "It was either sink or swim, so we started paddling, hard!"

     I often say I wear trauma glasses, they make my world look different. I look at clothing and think, "Will this color, design, texture negatively affect the child who will be wearing it." The mother of one of our children frequently dressed in black. The child was terrified of people wearing black clothing for a long time after the adoption was finalized and mom was no longer in the picture.

   Trauma covers my planner, I have to make sure I figure in enough time for it. I must make sure I don't make my schedule to full, or trauma will take over and we will pay dearly.

   We treat trauma like a baby. We are like parents who's child has just begun to crawl, they check the floor to make sure it is safe for their child, removing anything that could be a danger to him. We do the same thing when we go away. We automatically look for things that might upset trauma.

   We take trauma to church and I view the service, through trauma's eye's. When Old Testament stories are told, I can sense, rather than see trauma becoming uneasy. Those stories can bring back memories or stir up sleeping ones.

   I take trauma with me wherever I go. If the children aren't with me, my phone is right by my side, waiting for the phone call or text that things aren't going well. When my phone rings I think, "Uh oh, trauma is upset."

  Trauma must be taken into consideration in every aspect of life. Cereal boxes have pictures that make trauma worry, grocery stores remind trauma of being hungry, crying children bring scary memories, going on vacation stirs up trauma's fears....where will he sleep, what will he eat, what will he do. When we pass a police officer, trauma becomes fearful and asking a simple question such as, "What is in your hand," is enough to send trauma into a meltdown.

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   Sometimes I am tempted to simply ignore trauma. After all, what can it do if you refuse to acknowledge it's presence? We have learned that trauma simply becomes bigger, louder, heavier and more prevalent until you acknowledge it. When we acknowledge the fear, hunger, cold, tiredness or whatever has brought trauma to a head, it tends to fade into the background. After upsetting trauma and dealing with the after effects, we vow to be extra vigilant and we are for a time, then we get sloppy and forget how needy trauma is, until to be jerked back to reality by a shrill scream or kick. As much as I despise trauma, it is so much a part of life at our house that I probably wouldn't know what to do with all the extra time I would have in it's absence.`

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Trauma feels very much like the gazelle does in this picture

A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

   Sometimes I feel hypocritical writing about marriage because I have one failed marriage under my belt. On the flip side, I've seen what really doesn't work and have experienced the pure joy of what a "good" marriage is all about. I've been married twice (for a combined total of 14 years) . Luckily the second time has worked out much better than the first! So please grant me grace, but I hope my experiences will only help you in your own marriage (or a friend's)! Here are 10 things I wish I'd known before saying, "I do".

No Bohns About It     

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