These weeks I had the goal of reading about trauma, as I always looked for the meaning in the RAE and these are the definitions: 1. Emotional shock that produces lasting damage to the unconscious; 2. Strong and lasting negative emotion or impression; 3. Lasting injury caused by a mechanical agent, generally external. After this, I started reading the book The body keeps the score by Bessel van der Kolk. It has almost 800 pages and I said no way am I going to finish all that, but yes, almost.
Van der Kolk begins his book by talking about rediscovering the trauma and the mark that remains on people through the experiences of war veterans, who affirm that life is a narrative that stops and starts again, there are periods in a row, commas and all those punctuation marks that connect the story, but that trauma interrupts the plot, appear as a full stop in the middle of the most important sentence.
These veterans suffer similar post-war traumas, such as nightmares, flashbacks, and emotional disconnections towards their loved ones, at this point I thought of my dad, who served in the army for many years and I asked myself, he also has post-war trauma and that is why it was like that with us?». Well, X. Then, a powerful word DESENSIBILIZATION appears, this little word is a product of trauma and these two things result in the subject no longer trusting themself, having the desire to love or feel, but not being able to evoke anything, and the only thing one can show is anger or remorse.
The trauma and numbing feel like floating in space, without purpose or direction.
Trauma brings with it many things, including changing people’s perceptions and imagination, reorganizing how those perceptions are handled, and making people expose that trauma in different ways, through bodily pain, reactions, or violence. As an example of this, veterans could not hear fireworks or children crying, because they remembered the bodies of children killed by bombs in the Vietnam War. War is a misfortune that ruins life, but it is not the only one.
One piece of advice that caught my attention is “It is significant to find the words to discover what has happened, but it is not enough. The body must learn that the danger has passed.”
Something that also caught my attention is how in the ’60s the main treatment for mental illness was conversation, but over time it has been replaced by medication, as they are more effective and faster.
Although words are not everything, the patients took advantage of the tranquility of the night to walk, wander around the hospital and hold talks with other patients, demonstrating how the night and early morning allow them to open up and tell their experiences more easily.
What time can I open it?
Two statements left me thinking “Part of the suffering of the human being is related to love and loss” and “the main source of suffering is the lies we tell ourselves”, I still think about them.
Here is the part that connected me the most and made me more interested
The connection between body and mind
The theory says that the core of Post-Traumatic Stress is psychoneurosis, that is, the trauma has a physiological basis and I agree with them? 100%.
The book mentions that people abused in childhood often feel sensations (pain in any part of the body) that lack a physical cause since Darwin said that there is a connection between the intestines, the heart and the mind through the pneumogastric nerve. And yes.
In the Latin tradition, there is an internal «joke» that has to do with the mother and the flip-flop, since some Latin mothers solved everything with it, that is, hitting their children with them. I agree with reprimanding children, but not through physical abuse. I grew up normalizing that my parents hit us with straps, flip-flops, the cord of the rice cooker, with the broom handle, because that was their way of showing us what was right or wrong. However, I got to the point that when they hit me I no longer felt any pain, although the next day I had to go to school in my sports pants because the bruises could be seen on my skirt. I didn’t see it as bad until they hit me for being who I am, I stopped normalizing until I was almost unconscious and with a small break on my left cheek that had to be healed with 2 stitches. There and only then did I see that what my Latin mother did was not normal. I stopped doing it until I was 18 and showed that I could defend myself.
However, my body has some small repercussions. I tried to draw my map of pain and it is like this.
- What hurts me the most is my head, since I was 12 when I started with all my problems I suffer from migraines.
- My right shoulder, I don’t know why it hurts, but no matter how much they massage me, and apply creams for the pain, there I still feel those stitches that nothing goes away.
- In the lower back, the pain is there even if I am sitting, lying down, or standing and it increases when I think too much.
- My legs, more than pain, what I feel in them is an annoyance when someone touches them, I feel strange, it doesn’t feel like a pain but it almost becomes one. A few weeks ago I went to a spa and they were massaging my legs. I felt so bad I had to tell them to stop and the bruises I had throughout my teens came to mind.