Arcs of Trauma

arc length logarithmic spiral

In Trauma Therapy I found talk therapy was not helpful because there was a paid “witness” despite some very fine intentions to help. What’s more, speaking over and over to a non-witness of events can and does escalate trauma responses.

My oncologists and therapists raged against my family, begging them time and again to come in and talk to them, to have them explain the truth. But my family wanted to not believe it after a certain point. We all of us make myths of our beloveds and others – I believed my family wanted me. In the end, I know they did, but unlike the TV “children always come first” b.s. that was not their way.

I forgive my parents now, I see their arcs of trauma as an extension of my own, their trauma and brilliance and stupidity as my own. I am of course of them. But I am NOT THEM. My mother wanted a daughter who was an extension of her non-malignant Narcissism which she never followed up with treatment wise.

My father was a victim of extreme PTSD (Korean war, ended up covered in his lifelong Bronx’s friend brain blood and bones). How do we heal that shit? I’m not sure we can. It goes from generation to generation and we are all awash in our shared blood.

I wanted children. I’m now glad I never had them. I do see a wonderful shift in the culture of fatherhood since our generation from deadbeat to often the sole parental figure, or sole figure of decency. I don’t know about god myself. I do know I wrote letters to god as a child and hid them under my pillow. My mother found them and laughed because she did not believe in god. So I did what she did and stopped.

I think my father and I were alike in both visage and being. Logic, science, math, robots, star trek, sci fi, imagination. My mom did not get it. When he could no longer perform father roles due to is trauma (and it was the 60s so who knew?) he became the family scapegoat. My mother ignored what her therapist told her about her perfectionist narcissism could seriously harm her children but what Mom took from that was my father was a “Paranoid Schizophrenic” (No longer in the DSM-V btw).
From 13 years on I read every pre DSM III and Merck Manual to figure out what I could about my family. I finally have.

They were victims of incredible traumas. They were brilliant in different ways and these issues are known disruptions in any family.

We do what we can. Some of us compartmentalize. Or seek fame. Or money. Or false idols.

I honestly know this to be true: My disruption is born of wanting to be loved and treasured. We are not meant to be the physical extensions of parents to beat, harm, rape or experiment. We can only break the Arcs of Trauma when we know exactly this: Mostly, it wasn’t malicious. It was because that’s what they learned to do.

We need to learn differently now.
I hope we have the time left.

Author: Molly

See me after class.