we've got some resources for understanding & mitigating trauma.
between the derek chauvin trial, the bigoted and hypocritical responses to "Montero," trans-antagonistic bills across the deep south, the never-ending pandemic, and the personal struggles we all carry... this week has been too much already. as i wrote about last fall, we are all experiencing several layers of ongoing trauma. to my black comrades, i cannot imagine what this week is like and i am holding space for you.
as we work towards what we could become, we can't ignore what's happening to us and our bodies in the here and now.
if you're feeling anxious, numb, or "off" this week it is likely a physical response to ongoing trauma. if you have survived trauma in the past, it's likely that those old wounds are aching in your subconscious and body.
in my experience, trauma is trapped grief, love, and righteous anger festering while it waits for the light. sometimes we aren't ready to bring it to the surface and each of us has a right to decide when it's time, but... eventually it will announce itself with or without our permission. Stevie Elem-Rogers once warned me that if i didn't deal with my shit it would show up wine drunk in a bathroom one night like pop-up guess who, bitch! She has never lied and it has showed up just so many times.
i spoke to Darling Ryan this week about trauma and i've been thinking a lot about her poem below:
it's my hope that at some point this week you have time to just stand beside the body of grief. maybe you will even be able to expand in the face of it, against all odds. below are a collection of resources related to understanding, working through, and supporting others with trauma.
Trauma is a physical reality.
“Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.” – Bessel van der Kolk
Meditation & mindfulness is proven to increase trauma resiliency.
Headspace has a ton of free resources right now and it's as good a week as any to start a free trial.
Trauma gets trapped in our bodies. Yoga and stretching are proven to help.
Jessamyn Stanley has a ton of accessible yoga resources for every body. Below is my favorite video to put on when i feel the stress poprocks going off in my body and mind.
Trauma is communal. Learning to support others in their trauma is mutual aid.
ACE training is free and open to everyone in Louisiana who wants to learn to better support trauma resiliency in their community.
I see the practice of ACE education as mutual aid for collective change so that those of us who have experienced trauma — whether at the individual or societal level — are met with kindness first. I dream that all of our children know they are worthy, capable, and loved by their elders and their community. I dream that we will have resources to share in our collective grief over this pandemic that is not over yet. I dream that we will have the necessary resources to fertilize our physical and cultural environments so that we can reshape our city, state, country, and world to be what we want it to be. – Laura Thornton, PhD.
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katie wills evans