“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls: the most massive characters are seared with scars.” Kahlil Gibran
“My sun sets to rise again.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning
They say Spring is around the corner, but looking out my office window, I’m not so sure. I see a snowbank that is five feet high and at least fifteen feet wide. This is the accumulation of snow from the past several weeks that had to be shoveled off of the driveway. This snow bank reminds me of a castle wall, and I think back to my time touring Great Britain with the hard rock band, TRAIN. We performed many times in the city of Chester, England. Playing music was fun, but so was the time I had in exploring this city. The original Roman fortifications still encircled Chester and what was amazing to me, was the width of the parapets – they were built to allow their chariots to rush to the defense of breaches upon the fortification. So now, I look out my half covered windows and think back to a time of peace and serenity for me, creating music and starting a family. Two incredible years spent in Great Britain, that allowed me some time away from my family of origin, giving me time to reflect upon my life and how hurtful my childhood was…it’s funny how we can have memories of nice times and yet they can also be tied in to the dark times of our lives.
And that can be a conundrum for so many of us dealing with trauma and abuse concerns from the past. I know for myself, seeing young children smiling and happy at play, with or without their parents, brings a warm glow to my soul, and yet, there is also a cold chill that creeps in when I think of myself as a child and not having that playfulness…or, I can be reminded of my own children when they were young and how they brought such joy into my life…and yet, later on when struggling with depression and post traumatic stress, they were taken out of my life due a horrible divorce where all that had to be said was that I was “mentally ill” a few times, and well, that wrecked everything…even with no history of violence or abuse at either my ex-wife or my children.
Trauma is a strange creature to me, I’ve learned about it, I advocate to help raise awareness on its impact upon all of us, and yet for all I learn and continue to learn, it still can be such a darn mystery to me. I’m flooded with good memories and thoughts and then somehow, it allows the other not-so-nice feelings and hurts to come into view. Strange indeed to me…and that is part of the reason why I find great comfort in what is shared in this newsletter and from other resources – there is Hope, there is Healing and there is Help…and it helps to remind me, that I’m not alone in my struggles. We are a community of healing…and that gives me joy.
Someday I hope to be able to walk upon those castle walls again…
Take care, Michael Skinner
“If we fail to look after others when they need help, who will look after us?” Unknown
PS How about yourself, do you deal with trauma memories that bring up the pleasant and the not-so-pleasant memories and feelings of the past? What are your coping skills when this happens?…. Please write, I would like to know…and please let me know of any helpful resources that can be shared in future Surviving Spirit Newsletters, Thanks!!!
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