All posts by Edna Orozco

Trauma y dolor

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caught my attention is how in the ’60s the main treatment for mental illness was conversation, but over time it has been replaced by medication, as they are more effective and faster.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.

  1. What hurts me the most is my head, since I was 12 when I started with all my problems I suffer from migraines.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

¿Perdonar? ¿Con qué se come?

I was asked to write about forgiveness, what do I mean by this word? Blank.

I spent 2 days thinking about forgiveness, I watched movies, I listened to music, I read one or another poem trying to clear my mind and nothing. Until I saw the premiere of Hocus Pocus and in one scene Winifred loses her sisters, there I understood that to forgive is to lose and lose to find oneself again, perhaps with another thought, more mature, more conscious.

Forgiving more than a feeling or an emotion is an act and a choice to leave behind or overcome the bad that has been done to us and that we made ourselves. To forgive is to get rid of carrying an unnecessary weight of grudges and negative feelings that stagnate you more and more.

When I think of forgiveness I imagine myself saying in front of the mirror «I forgive you because I choose not to live with the negative feelings you provoke me, because if I do not let go I will keep them alive and they will become a disease that consumes me spiritually and physically.» I believe that to forgive another it is important and imperative to forgive yourself, to know what we are doing wrong, what hurts me and how I can solve it, because if I do not do this exercise with myself, how will I know what about the other hurts me?

Forgiveness is no longer feeling hurt when I see myself when I see them.

I believe that writing is important for forgiveness because it allows expressing, to carry out a work of introspection. Life hurts and sometimes it hurts to live. It hurts the thoughts, actions, the day to day, sometimes that pain stops being felt within itself and comes out, the body, the hands, the eyes, the head hurts, it hurts to breathe and it hurts to exist. Writing has allowed me to do a process of katharsis, because I have been able to express what I feel and think, what was left in my throat, and what went away with the wind. I have seen writing as a therapeutic process that allows me to breathe. I am extremist, exaggerated, a little dramatic, and tragic, but I know that writing about what hurts me and has caused that pain is not bad, because it is necessary to know, recognize, forgive and grow. Forgiving is hard, but it is necessary. If it weren’t for the writing I would still have a grudge against my family, towards me. Forgiving is also an act of love, of life. Writing gives me life, forgiving gives it back to me.

Memoir, Therapy, Thesis and Anachronisms 2022-09-28 22:05:54

These two weeks have gone with a blink of an eye, but of constant learning and gossip, because I have gone into reading memoirs (to receive more information, clearly). However, not everything is memories, but I delved into what self-ethnography was, but to understand the term I had to understand what autobiography and ethnography were, because, after all, autoethnography comes from there. Thus, autoethnography is a type of research that seeks to systematically describe and analyze the personar experience in order to understand the cultural experience. So we have a formula autobiography + ethnography = autoethnography. The first term refers to the writing of past experiences and epiphany, which means that one must look back and selectively to select events in which life no longer seems to be the same. On the other hand, ethnography studies a cultural, relational practice of common and shared values and beliefs with the purpose of helping group members and outsiders to better understand a culture.

Thus, when an autoethnography is carried out, it is written retrospectively and selectively about epiphanies that derive or were possible thanks to the fact that they are part of a culture or have a specific cultural identity. However, it does not remain only in counting, but is a process of recounting experiences with theoretical and methodological tools, considering ways in which others experience similar epiphanies. So, personal experience can be used to illustrate facets of a cultural experience. There are ways in which autoethnography is presented, the first is narrative, where texts are exposed in the form of stories that incorporate experiences of ethnographers; on the other hand, the reflective document the ways in which the same researcher changes, or shows his epiphany.

Apart from all this, from the readings I have done I have understood that writing is a way to know a new method of research. So writing stories is therapeutic because it makes it possible to make sense of ourselves and our experiences.

A little about me and what I want?

Hello everyone, I am Edna Valentina Orozco Campo and I must confess that I am a little scared, excited and eager to do something incredible. This summer was productive for me, because it allowed me to reflect, to realize what I want to do and where I want to direct my future work. Helping others has always been in my mind, because I grew up watching people go through many difficulties, poverty, addiction, abuse, forgetfulness and with it thousands and thousands of negative feelings and emotions that harmed (more) the day to day of these people. Last semester I understood the power of writing for forgiveness, to overcome, to grow and, in one way or another, to try to forget the bad, this was from my own experience and really that it was one of the most enriching feelings. For this reason, the idea of writing memoirs as a tool and path to forgiveness and therapy had been floating around in my head. I am afraid of the last words because I have no idea about psychology, therapy, counseling, but it allows me to take new challenges and risks all in favor of being a person of help for others.