Trauma and Recovery: Finding Strength for the Silent Battle Against PTSD [A Resource for Victims & Society] In considering how to explain the importance in acquiring help from all of the digital philanthropists currently reading through my plea for assistance, I thought that, perhaps, the most ... Read More
Trauma and Recovery: Finding Strength for the Silent Battle Against PTSD [A Resource for Victims & Society]
In considering how to explain the importance in acquiring help from all of the digital philanthropists currently reading through my plea for assistance, I thought that, perhaps, the most impactful way to explain the importance of this fundraiser I'm creating was to do so, initially, from a clinical perspective, and, so, I've chosen an excerpt to share with you from a professional text on victims of PTSD. Here it is:
"The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social conract are too terrible to utter aloud. This is the meaning of the word 'unspeakable.'
Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work...Remembering and telling the truth about the terrible events [related to PTSD] are prerequisites, both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of the individual victims...
The knowledge of horrible events periodically intrudes into public consciousness, but is rarely retained for long. Denial, repression, and dissociation operate on a social as well as individual level. The study of psychological trauma has an 'underground' history. Like traumatized people, we have been cut off from the knowledge of our past. Like traumatized people, we need to understand the past in order to reclaim the present and the future [and in order for us, those victims of unspeakable traumas, to reclaim the lives that we once saw as defining ourselves among the productive, contributing, and well-functioning members of society]."
Research on trauma, its effects on survivors, on local, national and international communities, and in civilization at large, is a complex and controversial area in which to immerse onself in study. This is a fact I've learned to be true throughout the better part of the past 13 years, following a life-changing experience with nightmarish instances of interrelated trauma, that remains to this day way too personal and painful for me to be able to address or discuss with others [not fellow trauma survivors, close family, friends, clinicians or any other individuals I consider both trustworthy and an important and significant part of my life], as the pain of confronting the issue, even uttering aloud a single detail, leaves me frozen, both physically and verbally, and with a lingering chilling sense of pervasive fear.
Through research, I've carried out on my own, despite being lucky enough to come across the occasional literary/psychological gem that has helped in at least facing the impact of trauma on my life [both long term and in the day-to-day], I have finally arrived at a place where all of those years of preparatory research, I have managed to begin my battle in overcoming the tremendous impacts of trauma that have unequivocally destroyed the former life I lived and enjoyed throughout my youthful years as a joyful girl; eternally optimistic, sunny, happy, and full of life.
While much research on the effects of trauma and on PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] are geared toward veterans of war, there are many of us out here trying to get through day by increasingly difficult day, who are fully ignored in the clinical research fields. Fields chock full of professionals with enough education and experience in this and related fields, that very well ought to know how critical it is to survivors like myself, the necessity of taking into account the many, varied populations of individuals whose lives are touched by those "unspeakable" unfortunate circumstances of trauma [including victims of sexual and domestic violence, combat veterans, and even victims of political terror - a travesty seldom spoken of that touches the lives of more people than would be imagined, including not just employees of government and international victims of terror, but also overlooked groups that may include the teenage girl who lives next door, or the once-successful former CEO of a major, leading Fortune 500 company].
To overcome the pain, emotional paralysis [an experience I myself suffer way too often], social stigma, and other issues that are the result of traumatic stress disorders, some research suggests [and I feel I can truthfully attest to the realities touched upon in these bodies of work], that the key to recovering from trauma is a focus on restoring connections between parties involved in traumatic experiences, whether directly or in a more indirect nature.
To rise above the debilitating and often lifelong effects of trauma survival, it's crucial to become educated on the importance of reconnecting relationships, such as between the public and private worlds, between individuals and their communities, between men and women, and so on. It's also crucial to understand the circumstances and commonalities that currently and will continue to exist between survivors; between survivors of rape, veterans of war, between battered women, political prisoners, and any other group that I've failed to mention thus far. The perpetrators of these traumatic atrocities and the results of their attitudes and approaches toward others, more often than not leave emotional scars in the victims - scars that may and often do remain as painful reminders throughout the entirety of the victims' lives, and whose impacts have the capacity to ruin those who suffer through these atrocious nightmares in silence - silence enforced by those tyrants who seem to lack the ability to feel remorse in the oft irreversible damage they inflict upon those innocents that least deserve it.
Even more difficult than locating and studying reliable and trustworthy tomes dedicated to extensive, solid research on the many types of trauma that affect the lives of so many, is the conundrum of coming to terms within the psychological community in terms of how to come up with methods of fixing, or at the very least alleviating this seemingly impossible, impassable issue [an issue whose impacts are far too extensive and wide-ranging to allow experts in this and related fields to turn a blind eye to].
I've constructed this fundraiser on trauma and the related issue of methods of recovery to help locate, look into, and define possible avenues of obtaining any and all fundamental frameworks for the successful recovery of victims of the various types of [there's that word again!] "unspeakable" trauma, as detailed above.
This project is not purely philanthropic in nature, on my part. The main reason behind this endeavor; its driving force [if you will] that finally prompted me to try to attempt something to spur further serious work into this particular field, is the result of myself and my personal experiences as a trauma victim. Though I am one of the lucky ones who has managed to survive through the past decade-plus personal era of victimization, I feel it's finally reached the point where if I don't do something, at least try something to assist myself in enduring experiences past and those I'll undoubtedly continue to face in the future [rather than succumb to them], it's become pretty much an unavoidable certainty the fact that my life expectency will continue to dwindle with each passing day.
Having gone from living a somewhat privileged life, raised in a wealthy, safe, and beautiful neighborhood, educated at the finest of schools, and with countless other life blessings, I found myself [after having just graduated college] horrified by a most unexpected, and life-changing head-on collision with the most severe of traumas. And with the resulting survival experiences related to said situation, lived through by one whose life had never been touched by anything even remotely resembling seriously traumatix experience, it was, for all intents and purposes, the most unexpected of events that did a thorough job in completely leveling the entirety of my existence.
Now, upwards of 13 years later, I find surviving day-to-day life more taxing that I'm able to accurately convey through words. It's a daily struggle to obtain sufficient survival necessities required by any human being; from ensuring that I am able to keep a safe and adequate shelter over my head, to struggling constantly to obtain just enough food to keep my body functioning, to being part of an ongoing fight for general survival in the harsh environment that is New York. Aside from struggling for life survival needs, I've also been in a continuous struggle to deal with the emotional fallout of losing everything dear to me and closest to my heart. My current life situation is not exactly conducive to maintaining happy and healthy friendships and as such I've had to deal with the fallout of being more-or-less abandoned by most every single friend and family member I've ever loved, continuous fading of beloved memories of days past, and the constant loss of each and every tangible possession that held meaning for me [the result of moving around from shelters to temporary makeshift bedrooms that consist of the couches of acquaintances, etc.], those items that most of us, as humans, hold onto, hold close to us through life, and which serve as reminders of joyful times past as well as the warm promises of future celebrations full of joy, love, and so many other overlooked and treasured aspects of what most people overlook, forgetful that these treasured aspects of life are never guaranteed; far too often taken for granted by those whose lives remain untouched by the filth and folly of living through unspeakable, unfathomable, and most assuredly unpleast to openly discuss impacts of the dialectic of trauma on humanity as a whole.
If I'm able to make even the slightest bit of progress [either by regaining strength and control over traumatic impacts on my own life or finding ways and methods to reach out to assist those similarly affected] by way of this fundraiser [and the financial assistance from caring and empathetic members of the general public like those of you who have taken the time to familiarize yourselves with this lengthy and complex issue as well as donate whatever you may be able to spare...well, then I feel that I've taken my biggest step forward in the past 13 years of my life, not only in facing the demons of trauma that haunt my spirit and psyche on a regular basis, but have also garnered the strength and power to begin to fight the good fight against the overall tragedy of trauma in relation to humanity as a whole.
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