Life after Trauma

Hi, I thought we would reflect upon this important topic today as it has some interesting facts for us to contemplate. Especially for those of us who have experienced life changing traumas.

First, let’s get our cuppa organized…today I thought a Japanese Apple blossom tea sounded exciting & as an accompaniment a yummy Coconut Ice bite.

Have you got your cuppa & treat ready dear friend? Are you seated in your comfy spot? I am….because it’s a cold autumn day here today, I’m sitting indoors, in my warm & cozy spot.

The apple tea is lovely & the treat is scrumptious! Shall we begin our reflection together…

beautiful blooming blossom blossoming

What does trauma mean?

Trauma is defined as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience… or an injury to the body.

However, I believe these are not necessarily mutually exclusive & the science confirms this!

A traumatic event can come to anyone of us, at any time, quite often hitting us from left field when we least expect it. It comes with the harsh reality that life, as we knew it, will be forever changed.

Trauma may hit us initially through an emotional, physical or mental health situation. But however it comes to us, it’s guaranteed to impact every aspect of our lives.

When the trauma is so severe or several traumatic events happen in succession of each other, not giving the mind & body time to process & recover then the condition of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may develop. This can be a crippling mental health condition & needs professional support.

Why does life change through trauma?

Trauma affects the whole body, as mentioned above, in a way that is not widely acknowledged. It has been found that the impact of trauma extends to the very micro level of our beings..even placing little memory keys upon our DNA, through changing our epigenome, these trauma memory keys lock or unlock little chemical markers on certain genes! Refer 2 

But…were you aware that our subconscious mind retains memory markers too, even down to remembering the time of the year the trauma occurred?

Let me personalize this…

Recently, I have been feeling not quite myself... At first I put this down to this year’s events with the unexpected emergency…  with my husband Steve & a medical emergency we recently had with my eldest daughter. Additionally having just undergone my own surgery, after it had been delayed & rescheduled, shared in A new lens needed! And the impact these events have had on my chronic condition of Fibromyalgia…

But as you may know, I find reflective journaling & prayer very useful when I feel a shift in my emotional wellbeing.

So…as I reflected upon how I had traveled emotionally within these events, I saw that though these events were traumatic & unsettling within themselves & collectively, they were not explaining the intensity of the shift I was experiencing…

bright clear close up dark

I then had a lightbulb moment…& realized it’s that time of the year again!

My attention has been so focused upon the things of the present, which is normal & healthy, that I had not realized that time was approaching…but my subconscious mind had & my spirit had reacted…

The reason…

This is the time of the year when my late husband was diagnosed with brain cancer, called Glioblastoma Multiforme grade 4. The symptoms & events leading to diagnosis, the emergency medivac flight to Sydney, his urgent neurosurgery & resulting terminal prognosis was so traumatic for me that it has left an indelible mark upon my subconscious…

Which my spirit & body react to involuntarily at this time each year. Though I have moved forward in the acceptance of his passing & continue healing in God’s love & grace…shared in Mending brokenness…There is this subconscious reaction. 

You see we only had twelve weeks from his diagnosis to his death…& while those twelve weeks were very, very precious they were also very traumatic…walking with your husband to heaven’s door through the progression of an aggressive brain tumor is excruciatingly painful emotionally…

One I could not have done nor survived without God’s strength, especially after having previously walked to heaven’s door with my daughter Candy & then my son Benjamin…

I have beautiful memories of my marriage to my late husband & these are the ones I choose to focus upon when this wave of grief hits…

The happy memories of our life together which always brings a smile to my face. Remembering those special times we had…the healing love of a sweet gentle man with such amazing integrity who treated me with such gentleness, respect & honor the entire time we were together…my cup overflowed! Indeed such love & blessing will last a lifetime!

I’m here to tell you dear friend that it’s okay to grieve, it’s okay to have a few tears in remembrance of the good times & the painful ones.

Whether your trauma memory is from the death of a loved one or from another traumatic event…It’s okay to grieve!

This is a time in which we need to be very gentle & kind to ourselves…allowing the wave of grief, whether in tears or in quiet meditative reflection, to flow over us…as in time it will slowly ebb away. Releasing us to continue on our present path, into to the present season of our lives…

Until next time…

Jennifer

 

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41 thoughts on “Life after Trauma

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  1. So powerfully explained, Jennifer! This topic can be a mystery to many and you unpacked it in a way that makes it so clear through your information and the personal story examples as well. Thank you for this excellent work on the topic. Have a blessed weekend! 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Jennifer,
    Thank you for being so open and vulnerable to share the hard things of your story with us here. Such traumatic events that you have walked through! But the Lord has brought such sweet gifts for you to share, as we can see the ways that He has been so close to you and brought you such peace even through the grieving. As I am working on my timeline for a writers’ course, I pray that I will allow Him to show me the grieving and the loving that He has walked me through as well. Blessings and love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So many things can trigger a deep emotional response without us quite understanding why sometimes. My dearest friend lost a son in a traffic pileup and each year at that time she really lays low and spends extra time with God. Peace to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Jennifer! Your words ring very true for me. We have a traumatic springtime event in our family and many years my body aches and the sadness hits before I remember the anniversary is near. Thank you for sharing your story and helping us all process our own grief with greater wisdom. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sending blessings to you Deb…
      Our body’s & minds are so wonderfully made…but become very traumatized by these life changing experiences…
      We do all have our unique ways in processing our grief but being gentle & kind with ourselves in these times is very important 🙂
      Bless you…

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  5. I wholeheartedly agree, Jennifer! There are so many who do not know how to grieve well, but it’s so very important to our health and ability to embrace all that is left and alive in lives. I’m sorry that you’re going through a milestone recurrence, though I’m glad you’ve recognized where your sadness and grief is coming from. I’ll be praying for you and am thankful you’ve highlighted this very important matter–giving us insight into how to navigate these traumas and losses better. I’ll be tweeting!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing these insights, Jennifer! This is actually something I was thinking about recently – that there is something about a certain time of year that always seems to bring things to the surface. It’s good to have it confirmed that there actually is a reason for this. Praying for you in this difficult time of remembering.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jennifer, reading your post was so timely. This time each year marks a traumatic loss 7 years ago. The grieving process is different for everyone, and I love that you encourage space to just allow the process and invite God into the journey. The good memories definitely are a sweet gift. Thank you for your such encouragement to find these gifts through the triggers and emotions. We comfort with the comfort we have received!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s so true Crystal, we do comfort with the comfort we have received…praise Him!
      Be kind to yourself in this time, dear friend, I’m glad you too have sweet memories to focus upon while you reflect at this time.
      They give an important balance to processing our grief & loss.

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  8. Thank you so much for reminding us that we need time and space to grieve–and grief isn’t a linear process that takes place in a set amount of time! I had to grieve the changes in our lives after my husband miraculously recovered from his traumatic bout with cancer (and one of those changes is that the cancer will most likely return–just in a different form). I haven’t given much thought to the fact that I may feel physically distraught near the time of his diagnosis or relapse, but on reflection, I do! I hate late July and early August.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting isn’t it Anita how our subconscious mind operates to the cellular level.
      It must be difficult to live with that prospect with your husband…
      I have always found Jeremiah 29:11-13 comforting. ♥

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  9. Whether we like it of not, our bodies do remember those traumatic dates. We can try and power through and ignore all the signs, but our body still remembers. So better to slow down and grieve, and take care of ourself. So glad you are doing this. Special blessings on you during this time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Theresa, yes soldiering on will only lead to physical break down. Being kind & gentle to ourselves in slowing down & having time out to process our grief, though painful is healthier for our whole being in the long run 😀

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  10. Dear Jennifer … this is so powerful and so hopeful, your story, your learnings, your grace towards yourself and your grief. Many will be touched by your willingness to share this difficult season.

    Bless you …

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for your thoughts on trauma. You shared so openly about your own story and I appreciate the depth of your experience. I have also experienced trauma over the death of my mom and dad, but also a job I lost at one point in my career. I have also found journaling to be important in the healing process.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grief comes to us from many traumatic circumstances…don’t they Mary…as you have shared.
      It’s difficult to lose our loved ones & to also have a sudden life changing experience in the loss of a job & income.
      Journaling is a great tool for helping us to get our thoughts & feelings down & in the process helps us to see the deeper emotions that may be hidden. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for sharing your own vulnerability Jennifer. Life sure takes us to some challenging places.
    This is a very timely post for me. Over Easter, we had some terrible wildfires which devastated 120 square miles around this village and three others. It has triggered a lot in me, since my own health deteriorated after a wildfire in Easter 2003. Back then, it came right up to the edge of the garden on three sides!
    This time, there have been serious issues raised around response time by emergency services…
    So I am doing as much as I can to raise awareness, whilst also seeking support from my doctor and others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Brigid, that is too close for comfort! Fire is so devastating too! You have sought support which is being wise & kind to yourself, I hope you find solace in your beautiful garden too…
      Bringing awareness to a situation is the first step for education & ultimate change 😀
      Bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts, Jennifer. I’ve been trying to understand the effects of trauma for a few years now and your perspective really helped. Your story really touched me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad that my experience has brought a deeper understanding for you, I think sharing helps to shine light on the way these things affect us in the long term & this in turn helps others in their understanding. Lovely having you drop by. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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