The Post Traumatic Path

The further on I go through life the more I realize how trauma makes you rootless. It rips out tender shoots of relationships, it amputates attachment, it hacks down lineage, it truncates tradition, and leaves the survivor adrift with neither a compass nor an anchor.


Early and protracted trauma coupled with multiple abandonments leaves the soul unsheltered and open to the eviscerating elements — and eviscerate the elements do. They also erode, disorient, and create a dyslexia of both direction and discernment.


Trauma truncates knowledge of her ancestors. The motherless child, devoid of all good nurture, must herself mother and nurture. Absent of mortal guideposts she must seek and find an inner wisdom embedded in mothers of old, pulling from some deep nurturing well that she, having not sipped from herself, must lead others too.


Abuse leaves confusion for clarity; disconnection for connection; separation for unification. A fog lays heavy upon the landscape of loss void of a discernible direction. The shore blends imperceptibly with the sea of sorrow.


Left to resolve the unresolvable, the trauma survivor must learn tens of thousands of life lessons that were missed whilst surviving. She must cultivate an inner compass, relearning both the map and the territory. All this learning and living occurs while dialoging with dread.


For trauma survivors, history may suspend itself in a nefarious net high above her reach or capacity to resolve. Life must be lived without roots yet somehow bear fruit. Astonishingly so many manage to absorb nutrients from midair – creating something from less than nothing.


A time may arrive for the trauma survivor when her psycho/therapeutic needs are met and resolve into psycho/social needs. In the face of the harm which obliterated her history and abuse which annihilated her attachments — she must now fashion and form new foundations — not an easy undertaking.


Lacking the phileo foundational moors of traditional family, she must seek and find safety and stability in a traumatic and transient world. She must recreate a new personhood and purpose without the many years of mirroring to affirm her acceptance and acceptability.


Can it be done? To be sure it must be done. However, she will never know whom she could have been had things been set right from the start. Forever she will exert more energy than most, simply to be, as she did not become in the natural course of things.


The ease she observes in others when managing the many facets of their lives, she intuitively knows she does not possess. The normal course of her development was disrupted — she swims upstream against a riptide of ruin. Any and all accomplishments are excrutiatinlgy earned, any peace and prosperity are carefully cobbled together out of chaos. She tires of treading traumatic waters while her fellows have long since attained the capacity to float.


The post traumatic path offers more opportunity to grow, to know herself and the world around her. Recovery is iterative in nature, as developmental needs change across the lifespan. New losses may ignite old griefs. Learning to sprout in safe soil, to trust, to commune, to attach and attune may take much time.

The time is worth taking.




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