Listened to some folks talk  about trauma tonight.  After listening and thinking about what was said here are my observations. 
Everything in life can affect you in one of three ways:
It can have basically no affect at all.  It is incidental to the ordinary focus of living.  It doesn’t really affect who you are, how you see life, or your capacity to live life productively and fully.  Much of the day for most of us is incidental. 
It can build you up.  It may make you stronger and more capable.  From it you may become more skilled in dealing with some kind of challenge.  You may see an opportunity to learn and use what you learned in future situations.  It may increase your commitment and determination in important ways.  You may learn things about yourself, about others, or about what is meaningful to that help you to move in an important direction in life. 
It  can tear you down.  You can become less capable, not as strong and less likely to do well in life.  In some sense, to some degree it can be traumatic.  The pain can be more than you can cope with or resolve.  It can impact not only these circumstances but alter the way you approach other circumstance for a long time, perhaps for ever. 
Things at their most traumatic tend to become about everything, about always, and about you.  
Traumatic events have a relentless appetite.  In some way they shape what everything is about.  In everything you see its fingerprints.  It spoils things.  It seems almost impossible to get away from. 
Traumatic events not only effect all things but all time.  They appear to be something you will never get past.  It will always be there.  A lot of things may change but the specter of that event seems to color everything.. 
Finally trauma is about you.  It changes who you are and what you are about.  It gives you in some sense a spoiled identity.  There is a before and after.  And you can’t go back. 
And I think trauma is to some degree resolved when we begin to realize it is not about everything, it does not last forever and it does not leave you forever somehow broken and scarred. 
Injury affects every single person.  It can destroy the people or at least impact their ability to manage their life in a way they would have liked to.  Life is hard and in some ways we are dealing with that difficulty each and every day.  It is not a disease or a sickness.  It is life and it is being a human being.  It does not get in the way of life.  It is life. 
Sometimes we can change hard things but some hard things may never change.  Hard things don’t just get in the way of life.  For many people, in many circumstances they are life. 
Adversity molds and shapes us.  Sometimes we make it better but sometimes life is what we do despite adversity.  To what level do we rise?  
People hurt.  That is one of the things that makes them human.  But humans also can show great resiliency under the most difficult of circumstances.  Build what you can build.  Avoid the problems you can.  Cope with those you can’t.  But above all else survive.  Above all else survive.  The final verdict is not in and each day has a chance to be a better day.


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