“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
After reading a book this week on the sometimes debilitating effects of unresolved trauma on a person’s life, I couldn’t help but make the correlation to what is referred to as Holy Week in the Christian faith. This is the week where Christians around the world reflect on the last days of Jesus. It is the anniversary of the week that Jesus was betrayed by his loved ones and those in a position of authority, and ultimately died on the cross for sins he didn’t commit.
A person suffering from the aftereffects of trauma, whether or not they’ve officially been medically diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), can feel the way Jesus might’ve felt up on that cross–completely perplexed at having been betrayed and feeling the enormity of that betrayal until his dying breath.
For a person suffering with trauma or suffering with what I’ll call “second-hand” trauma–that is, a spouse or family member who is in the precarious and treacherous position of trying to have a normal relationship with a victim of trauma– life can be filled with confusion, uncertainty, and periodic jabs of pain so severe that everyone involved feels as though they are hanging on a cross. For the trauma victim, severe depression and outbursts of anger express what they cannot put into words. Reckless behavior and suicide speak to a desire to stop the pain.
“Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do.”
Trauma victims are so deeply affected by wrongdoing upon them that they often have no awareness of their own dysfunction and the affect of their actions on others. They don’t know what they are doing to themselves and to others. Initially, they suffer at the hand of someone else, and then, if they are unable to work through the trauma successfully, eventually suffer at their own hand. They may even, in a wicked twist of irony, harm someone else in the same way they were initially harmed.
“He is risen.”
Today, and always, I want you to know that there is help for you. I want you to know that you can work through this–either by yourself or with the help of a professional. I want you to know that you are not alone, that you are loved, and that you are loveable even when you find it hard to love others and to let them love you. You can rise out of the darkness of trauma. You can live again. You can love again.
Here are some resources for help:
SELF-HELP: Do a search on Amazon for: PTSD and trauma self-help books. If you are concerned about privacy as you do this search, then open a privacy window in your Internet browser so no information is collected during your browsing session. To open a privacy window for YOUR internet browser, do a Google search including your internet browser name (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, etc.) and the following words: private browsing in Firefox OR private browsing in Chrome OR private browsing in Internet Explorer