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Trauma Imprinting

My grandma use to say, “go ahead, throw yourself the biggest pity party. Get down real good and wallow in it! But then when you’ve cried it all out, get up. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get on with it.”

Wise words from a wise women.

Last night I began to feel sad, almost overwhelmingly so. Me being me thought what in the world is my problem? Other me goes, “ma’am, your husband died?” It felt more than that however. My son texted to ask something, and i just missed him more that a reasonable amount. My daughter was working late- I missed her too. My little ones were extra sad yesterday and it hurt more than ever to watch them grapple with new unfair feelings. Everything and everyone’s feelings seemed to be just more than what we had all been feeling. The feelings being felt appeared to be be unreasonable for the situation at hand.

Tired of being weepy, I dumped a bottle of trauma life on and finally poured myself in bed.

The Facebook memories the following day revealed the answer- trauma memory. Memories and traumas that are imprinted into the time of year and the body remembers. It remembers this time in years past where I felt deep pain and sadness. And also great joys mingled now with more pain.

  • a year ago today we left a mission field and dozen of kids we love deeply because the city was pissed and trying to throw us out. Oh and we were terrified.

  • a year ago today began the last family trip we would be able to take. And it was super fun.

  • two years ago my husband, Mark and I had one of our most fun memories, watching the Yankees get embarrassingly crushed, hanging out with some of his coworkers and being squeezed on a subway together. Just me and him. It was one of his favorite memories he mentioned on the day he died.

  • four years ago today our whole family went to Boston to pray over the city, ask for open doors. Another glorious trip.

  • nine years ago my youngest baby, Selah was trapped in the NICU and I was fighting with doctors to let me take her home rather than be on their clutches any longer.

  • eleven years ago, my oldest went into his first surgery to remove the cancer from his body. This began the trauma train in our son and in our family.

I share this not for pity from readers but for the sake that I know many of your have your own trauma imprinting. In 2021 there certainly is a massive amount of trauma felt from the previous year, not to mention years past from other circumstances unrelated to 2020. You may fly off the handle or feel sad/angry/depressed and don’t really know why. Or maybe you do know & you want to cry, yet some uptight bonehead friend tells you that’s silly, you shouldn’t be sad about it or worse- look at the bright side. Things can always be worse. If you've ever been told that, I am so sorry. Your friend means well but yet doesn't know how to communicate well.


So here's the advice from a recent widow long time understander of grief-

Feel your feels, every single one. Feel all of them- cry it out. Dump a bottle of Trauma Life on your liver, don’t worry, it’s just a bottle of oil. It’s not a waste if it’s for you. Fall asleep to your favorite music. Eat your favorite ice cream. Let yourself do what you need to in order to move through the hard days and nights.

And then, when you’re all cried out, you’ll be willing and able to get after it. You'll actually feel better and be able to say as the Psalmist said, "Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." (Psalm 30:5) The truth of this passage knocks me over every time I experience it first hand. And for us, the following day brought a bright and sunny day, one filled with true joy and peace. And yes, I did exercise that half pint of ice cream off. It's been said that feeling let us know we're alive. Well, I'm not sure about all that, but I do know feelings let us know our desperate need for a loving Father who wipes away our tears and brings that joy and comfort like never before.

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