Thursday, June 15, 2017

hard things ARE hard

While I adored the porch on my old house, it lacked sunlight for plants. The level of sunshine on my new porch is much more attuned to plant growth, so this spring, adding hanging plants--two ferns, one geranium--was one of the first things I did to spruce up the new place. 

I have tended these plants in such a way as to inspire and encourage growth. 


Aren't they just so happy? From this angle, they look like they are all thriving, right? Nice, full, lush. Lovely.

Let me widen out your view...


Things are a tad off-balance. The geranium and one fern are thriving. The guy by the drain pipe? Not so much. Its stunted growth is throwing off my porch symmetry!

But, not to fear! In my extremely novice plant understanding, I found the culprit...


For weeks, a little mama (or papa)...I know less about birds than plants...has been in and out of the fern. A few days ago, we discovered this nest. You wouldn't think that something as natural as a nest with an egg could be so destructive. The bird wasn't even big! But the activity happening inside was more than the fern could take.

Sure, it's alive. But it definitely isn't thriving!

As I pondered this, I realized that it is the perfect illustration of childhood trauma. It's easy to look at instances of trauma in children and think, "What's the big deal? It's just a small problem." But that small problem starts taking over. 

That small problem starts making a nest. That small problem lays eggs. That small problem manifests into something larger, until one day you realize that the trauma was a BIG deal.

Like my fern, trauma kids stay alive. They may not be easy to spot from various angles. I guarantee most of my teachers would not have guessed my inner turmoil. I was an excellent student...good grades, good classroom behavior. In the outside realm, I kept my nest well-hidden.

But there were many, many places where growth was stunted.

It's difficult to BE a trauma kid, and it's difficult to PARENT a trauma kid. I know both difficulties. You never know how a trigger will make yourself or your child respond. You never know if rage will surface, or fear, or sadness, or a combination. And there is also a certain amount of fear that your rough road as a trauma victim or secondary-ptsd as a parent (YES, that IS a thing!) will be recognized among family, friends and peers as a burden worth helping to bear.

Without raising awareness, the public...our communities, schools, churches, organizations...will continue to view trauma from this angle:


It is my hope that by working hard to raise awareness of the effects of childhood trauma through my writing, through my relationships, and through my various roles, that people...whether trauma victims or not...will start seeing the effects of trauma like this:


Trauma experiences are real. Let's stop pretending hard things aren't hard. It's then that real growth can happen!


To read more about childhood trauma, please click on these links:

Malinda's Story - my personal testimony of trauma and restoration

Project: RESTORE - various aspects of my journey toward healing

Trauma - professional counselor explains the sensory nature of trauma

CDC ACE study - a great resource for understanding response/reaction to trauma



4 comments:

  1. You are endeavoring to be a facilitator of communication on difficult topics. My heart goes out to you, and you should be supported in prayer. Do have your prayer warriors circled around you. We have dealt with difficult issues over the years, and prayer and scripture, and love, and Christian counselors priceless in value. There is always HOPE for total healing in our Father's arms, by His breath, from the hem of His garment.
    http://grandmamarymartha.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Tammy! Thanks for coming by! I so appreciate your words...the workers are few in this area, and it IS difficult! Feel free to email me at justsblogs @ gmail.com

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  2. I would like follow-up notifications of this discussion..........

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