the "Inside PTSD" collection:
- inside ptsd
- inside ptsd, the mad list
- inside ptsd, backstory
- inside ptsd, fleeing
- inside ptsd, two
- inside ptsd, remediation
- inside ptsd, three, rage
- inside ptsd, transaction costs
- time shift, inside the ptsd
- time shift three
- time shift two, still inside the ptsd
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode
- survive vs heal
- inside ptsd, body knows
- inside ptsd, body knows, part one
- one hour
- that same afternoon
- inside ptsd, more than a recollection
- inside ptsd, body knows 2
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 2
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 3
- inside ptsd, a student of trauma
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 4a
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 4b
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 5
- inside ptsd, more than a recollection, part 2
- inside my midlife ptsd
- one day—the daylight part—inside ptsd
- inside ptsd, mere survival
- inside ptsd, economics
- one day, at night, inside ptsd
- on the outside, looking in
- inside ptsd, in the wind
- inside ptsd, in the wind, two
- a is for anxiety
- inside ptsd, the last match
- inside ptsd, addicted to addiction
- inside ptsd, outside looking in
- inside ptsd, it takes time
- inside ptsd, the plea for understanding
- before the aftermath
the body remembers
the body retains some from each impact w/ traumatic energy.
the body is wounded by every assault—be it from another day of extreme poverty or straight fist-to-face violence. The body knows first.
The body experiences trauma before my brain can stimulate muscles fast enough to dodge the bullet—that's my premise, my thesis for this essay. The body knows first. Then the brain tries to sort out at once, and the mind considers it all later, from the privileged perch of contemplation and reflection.
body experiences impact
There's always collision in these lives of ours, a collision between 'reality' and its uncountable events and eddies, and our very own bodyminds. Sometimes we get a gentle early morning and a quiet first light, others a terrified eruption to total fear from a night's torment. So it begins. Feet collide against floor, skin collides against ambient air, shower water, food at the lips. Most collisions are gentle, but some impacts destroy.
When the smashing together of two forces threatens survival, it is traumatic. When it is rife with betrayal, and rage or cruelty, it's traumatic, b/c trauma is the infliction on the bodymind of energy bent of the recipient's damage or utter destruction.
i should probably put these at the top of this whole series, but today it seems apt. take care reading this; to understand trauma's impact on our body in an explicit, witnessing way, we have to look at some (but thankfully not all) of the details. we will be as gentle as possible.
drill down, first push
This is work for me, to write this. It's literally part of my job, to understand what trauma is, how exactly it hurts, and ultimately, what can we do to grow beyond living in worlds filled with endless cycles of pain, violation and loss.
Here's a case study we can call it, but it's just a story that happens all the time. It's about a kid who got hurt bad when younger. Not me, my childhood till age 18 did not involve beatings or violence. But i've met so many who were hurt, that i feel driven to explore and write about this, so we can find clues to our own worst behavior.
There's a perpetrator of course, the one who hits, who betrays, who desecrates, but perhaps that perp was hit too, when little. Let's look more closely... what is the body's experience when a child is screamed at with hatred and fear, then slapped so hard that bruises flower from fields of smashed apart blood vessels.
it's no fun to write this about any small child, but the stories are everywhere. i want to try to witness on behalf of too many children what it's like; i feel well loved today, and i feel strong enough to put this down—guardian spirits all about.
First, the body is bruised by the physical impact of being struck. The small child feels pain and fear in extreme proportions, and betrayal.
And we'll stop there for tonight, and pick up the story again soon. If you read the first draft of this online last week, part two is coming shortly.
Stay well. Love your people well, and everyone, Bless, m