Everyday Trauma

“With broken selves in a world on fire, trauma is everywhere.” Page 47 of The Trauma of Everyday Life by Mark Epstein, MD.

That about sums it up.

As I’ve been reading lately, I have come to the conclusion that something happened to break the infant/mother bond when I was a baby. Problem: I seriously doubt that Ma would have any recollection of her going on vacation or to the hospital for a few days or anything like that when I was a baby. Her memory is highly selective and she isn’t great at connecting the dots of cause-and-effect. My parents are not bad people. Ma, in particular, means well. She would never do anything intentionally to hurt anyone, especially me. But the reality remains: If I saw my childhood behavior in a kid today, I would instantly wonder, “Wow. What the hell is wrong with this kid? Some basic need must not have gotten met.” In compensation for my lack of emotional connection, I learned to rely on my brain. I have lived most of my life in  my head–minus a will to live. Intellect is no substitute for emotional stability.

It is only now, with Barry gone and me now having the time to focus on myself, that I can accumulate and connect my own dots. Many women never get this opportunity. Our lives are never about us.

Look at the political situation now. It is bizarre. People are defending the indefensible and then they are going to be shocked when they discover their credibility is gone forever. Imagine what the world will be like in ten years and you will understand where I am coming from. I am looking beyond the current situation and trying to figure out what can possibly come next. I cannot guarantee much, but I can guarantee that no one lives forever and that future generations will freely judge our behavior.

I went to the mall today. I watched everyone and saw only one “normal” person doing what he normally does, a regular. Everyone else seemed a little dazed and disoriented. My parents are fabulous compared to those of one of my friends, whose mother actually tried to kill her at least twice. Is everyone messed up? That seems to be the case. There is simply no solution.Epstein says that, “The effort required to ward off the possibility of trauma–the rush to normal that the absolutisms of daily life encourages–is itself traumatic.” (page 56) There is no escape. Period.

The book comes from a Buddhist perspective and goes into the Buddha’s childhood. It is very interesting.

I want to be a constructive influence and help prevent trauma. But I feel like I am playing with a deck of 35 cards socially, instead of the normal 52. I cannot help others when I am such a basket case. I’m working on it.

About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

One response to “Everyday Trauma”

  1. Ninasusan says :

    You are working on it! You’ve been searching within as long as I’ve been reading your blog…I think it’s been a couple years. You are not drying up, you are still searching…have you heard of the Paul Selig series of books. They are spirit channeled books. This was all new to me a year and a half ago but 8m now on the 4th book and I think differently now.

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