Best 646 quotes in «trauma quotes» category

  • By Anonym

    I had a bizarre rapport with this mirror and spent a lot of time gazing into the glass to see who was there. Sometimes it looked like me. At other times, I could see someone similar but different in the reflection. A few times, I caught the switch in mid-stare, my expression re-forming like melting rubber, the creases and features of my face softening or hardening until the mutation was complete. Jekyll to Hyde, or Hyde to Jekyll. I felt my inner core change at the same time. I would feel more confident or less confident; mature or childlike; freezing cold or sticky hot, a state that would drive Mum mad as I escaped to the bathroom where I would remain for two hours scrubbing my skin until it was raw. The change was triggered by different emotions: on hearing a particular piece of music; the sight of my father, the smell of his brand of aftershave. I would pick up a book with the certainty that I had not read it before and hear the words as I read them like an echo inside my head. Like Alice in the Lewis Carroll story, I slipped into the depths of the looking glass and couldn’t be sure if it was me standing there or an impostor, a lookalike. I felt fully awake most of the time, but sometimes while I was awake it felt as if I were dreaming. In this dream state I didn’t feel like me, the real me. I felt numb. My fingers prickled. My eyes in the mirror’s reflection were glazed like the eyes of a mannequin in a shop window, my colour, my shape, but without light or focus. These changes were described by Dr Purvis as mood swings and by Mother as floods, but I knew better. All teenagers are moody when it suits them. My Switches could take place when I was alone, transforming me from a bright sixteen-year-old doing her homework into a sobbing child curled on the bed staring at the wall. The weeping fit would pass and I would drag myself back to the mirror expecting to see a child version of myself. ‘Who are you?’ I’d ask. I could hear the words; it sounded like me but it wasn’t me. I’d watch my lips moving and say it again, ‘Who are you?

  • By Anonym

    I had many things to say, I did not have the words to say them. Painfully aware of my limitations, I watched helplessly as language became an obstacle…. Writing in my mother tongue—at that point close to extinction—I would pause at every sentence, and start over and over again…. All the dictionary had to offer seemed meager, pale, lifeless.

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    I had been fortified by trauma, the way a bone, once broken, grows back stronger than it had been.

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    I had many things to say, I did not have the words to say them. Painfully aware of my limitations, I watched helplessly and language became an obstacle. It became clear that it would be necessary to invent a new language... I would pause at every sentence, and start over and over again. I would conjure up other verbs, other images, other silent cries. It still was not right. But what exactly was “it”? “It” was something elusive, darkly shrouded for fear of being usurped, profaned. All the dictionary had to offer seemed meager, pale, lifeless.

  • By Anonym

    I had built such a wall between my experiences and how I felt about those experiences that I was incapable of reliving both simultaneously. I could talk about my traumas, even walk through them, but I couldn’t feel them. When I tried to bring it all together, when I tried to remember how I had felt, I disappeared in my own head. My to-do list took on grave importance. The book I read the night before filled my thoughts. Yesterday’s article suddenly called out to be rewritten. I couldn’t get inside myself.

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    I had finally begun to understand Seth’s relationship with his flask, how some days, the memories grew too heavy to bear.

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    I had told my story. I had put it into words, at last... Telling the story changed the story for me. Not what had happened--that I could never change--but how I responded to it.

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    I have only known two men's souls in my life, one the devil, the other the the bird's wings which picked me up and carried me back to the freedom of being.

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    I have suffered through enough illnesses, trauma and heartbreak to finally understand that life will keep moving forward inexorably, if terribly at times. I am starting to realize that it can be delightful too, if I let it. My love is not diminished if I let go of sorrow. I almost believe that.

  • By Anonym

    I have seen a lot of ugly things as a trainee and as a nurse, but they don't bother me very much. It's not that the familiarity hardens one; it is rather that one learns the knack of channelling one's emotions around the ugly thing.

  • By Anonym

    I have tried to communicate my ideas in a language that preserves connections, a language that is faithful both to the dispassionate, reasoned traditions of my profession and to the passionate claims of people who have been violated and outraged. I have tried to find a language that can withstand the imperatives of doublethink and allows all of us to come a little closer to facing the unspeakable.

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    I have tried to drink this pain away, to smoke it away, to write it away. I tried to make it numb, I tried to run away from it, I tried to fight it. But everything I tried to escape found me in my sleep again.

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    I know you're in a world of pain, but that pain will lessen. At the beginning you can't see that. You can only see your pain and you think it will never go away. But the nature of pain is that it changes— it changes like a sunset. At first, it's this intense red-orange in the sky, and then it starts getting softer and soften. The texture of pain changes as you work through it. And then one day, you wake up and realize that life isn't just about working through your incest; it's about living, too. - survivor of child sexual abuse

  • By Anonym

    I knew that my trauma, no matter what it was, was not unique. I knew that pain was the universal driving force of so many people—I knew that only in the details was it specific, and I just found it urgent to cut right to the chase and get right to the point.

  • By Anonym

    I left a piece of my soul that will always rightfully belong in the desert.

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    In 1973, Jan Erik Olsson walked into a small bank in Stockholm, Sweden, brandishing a gun, wounding a police officer, and taking three women and one man hostage. During negotiations, Olsson demanded money, a getaway vehicle, and that his friend Clark Olofsson, a man with a long criminal history, be brought to the bank. The police allowed Olofsson to join his friend and together they held the four hostages captive in a bank vault for six days. During their captivity, the hostages at times were attached to snare traps around their necks, likely to kill them in the event that the police attempted to storm the bank. The hostages grew increasingly afraid and hostile toward the authorities trying to win their release and even actively resisted various rescue attempts. Afterward they refused to testify against their captors, and several continued to stay in contact with the hostage takers, who were sent to prison. Their resistance to outside help and their loyalty toward their captors was puzzling, and psychologists began to study the phenomenon in this and other hostage situations. The expression of positive feelings toward the captor and negative feelings toward those on the outside trying to win their release became known as Stockholm syndrome.

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  • By Anonym

    imagine your heart is just a ball you learned to dribble up and down the length of your driveway back home. slow down control it. plant your feet in the soft blue of your mat and release it is hard but slowly you are unlearning the shallow pant of your childhood. extend your body—do not reach for someone but something fixed and fleshless and certain— fold flatten then lift your head like a cobra sure of the sun waiting and ready to caress the chill from its scales. inhale—try not to remember how desperate you’ve been for touch—yes ignore it—that hitch of your heart you got from mornings you woke to find momma hysterical or gone. try to give up the certainty she’d never return recall only the return and not its coldness. imagine her arms wide to receive you imagine you are not a thing that needs escaping. it is hard and though at times you are sure you will always be the abandoned girl trying to abandon herself push up arch deep into your back exhale and remember— when it is too late to pray the end of the flood we pray instead to survive it.

  • By Anonym

    Imagine the infant who one day cries and gets fed, and the next day cries and goes hungry. One day smiles and is kissed and hugged. The next day smiles and is ignored. This is what psychologists called 'preoccupied or unresolved attachment' with the primary caregiver--usually the mother. There was love one minute and disdain the next. Affection that was given in abundance for no reason and then taken away without cause. The child has no ability to predict or influence the behavior of the parent. The narcissist loves a child only as an extension of herself at first, and then as a loyal subject. So she will tend to the child only when it makes her feel good.

  • By Anonym

    I'm ready for the day when Mom loves me too much to keep me, and for every other person who will someday see that I'm not worth holding on to.

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    In 1994 Stephen Porges, who was a researcher at the University of Maryland at the time we started our investigation of HRV, and who is now at the University of North Carolina, introduced the Polyvagal theory, which built on Darwin’s observations and added another 140 years of scientific discoveries to those early insights. (Polyvagal refers to the many branches of the vagus nerve – Darwin’s “pneumogastric nerve” – which connects numerous organs, including the brain, lungs, heart, stomach, and intestines.) The Polyvagal Theory provided us with a more sophisticated understanding of the biology of safety and danger, one based on the subtle interplay between the visceral experiences of our own bodies and the voices and faces of the people around us. It explained why a kind face or a soothing tone of voice can dramatically alter the way we feel. It clarified why knowing that we are seen and heard by the important people in our lives can make us feel calm and safe, and why being ignored or dismissed can precipitate rage reactions or mental collapse. It helped us understand why focused attunement with another person can shift us out of disorganized and fearful states. In short, Porges’s theory made us look beyond the effects of fight or flight and put social relationships front and center in our understanding of trauma. It also suggested new approaches to healing that focus on strengthening the body’s system for regulating arousal.

  • By Anonym

    "Maya..." "Where are you?" I called. "Over here. I'm..." A sharp intake of breath. "Hurt." "Okay, stay where you are. I'm coming." I broke into a jog. Only no matter how fast I ran, his scent and his voice didn't get any stronger. I kept going until I tripped over a root and hit the ground hard. "Maya..." "Just—" "Maya? Is that you?" I pushed to my feet, wincing as I flexed my stinging hands. "I'm—" "Maya! I need you." His voice seemed to come from all around me. I spun, trying to pinpoint it, but he kept yelling, more panicking with every shout, my own panic rising until I flung myself forward— Hands grabbed me and yanked me back. For a moment, all I saw was the darkness of night. Then it fell away, dawn light filtering through the trees, and I was standing in front of Daniel, his fingers wrapped around my wrist. Kenji was beside me, whimpering. "Maya—" "I have to go," I said, wrenching from his grasp. "It's Rafe. He's out here. He's hurt and..." ... My eyes filled with tears. "I—" I swallowed. "I—" Daniel took both my wrists and turned me to face him. "You were sleepwalking, Maya." "It just...I could hear Rafe and he was hurt and I was trying to get to him and—" My breath hitched. "It seemed real." Daniel pulled me into a hug and I let myself collapse against his shoulder.

  • By Anonym

    In 2017, I was invited to lead a mindfulness workshop and guide a live meditation on Mingus Mountain, Arizona, to over 100 men and women at a recovery retreat. On the eve of my workshop, I had the opportunity to join in a men's twelve-step meeting, which took place by the campfire in Prescott National Park Forest, with at least 40 men recovering from childhood grief and trauma. The meeting grounded us in what was a large retreat with many unfamiliar faces. I was the only mixed-race Brit, surrounded by mostly white middle-class American men (baby boomers and Generation X), yet our common bond of validating each other's wounds in recovery utterly transcended any differences of nationality, race and heritage. We shared our pain and hope in a non-shaming environment, listening and allowing every man to have his say without interruption. At the end of the meeting we stood up in a large circle and recited the serenity prayer: "God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me". After the meeting closed, I felt that I belonged and I was enthusiastic about the retreat, even though I was thousands of miles away from England.

  • By Anonym

    In spite of everything she did that she shouldn't have done, and everything she didn't do that she should have, something that felt like love was in her and she would take it out at times like this and show it to us and make us hunger for more. All of us, each in our own way.

  • By Anonym

    In lieu of letting go of our trauma and rather than healing completely, in my experience, we learn how to carry it and there are some days when it is heavier than others. Some days, I hardly know it is there, distracted as I am by present joys and excitement; while other days, the burden is cripplingly-heavy and I can hardly breathe under the weight of grief.

  • By Anonym

    In Kant’s description, ethical duty functions like a foreign traumatic intruder that from the outside disturbs the subject’s homeostatic balance, its unbearable pressure forcing the subject to act “beyond the pleasure principle,” ignoring the pursuit of pleasures. For Lacan, exactly the same description holds for desire, which is why enjoyment is not something that comes naturally to the subject, as a realization of her inner potential, but is the content of a traumatic superego injunction.

  • By Anonym

    In movies, war only looks romantic. “Tell my gal I love her…” close-up shot, and fade out. It doesn’t work as beautifully and neat in real life. Flying chunks of human flesh and screaming orphans really put that Hollywood take into perspective and there is nothing clean or sterile about any of it. When people die, it’s fucking horrible.

  • By Anonym

    In order to believe clients' accounts of trauma, you need to suspend any pre-conceived notions that you have about what is possible and impossible in human experience. As simple as they may sound, it may be difficult to do so.

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    In the end, Alice was surprised by how easily she could do something she was always told she should not. She just had to take a step. First one. Then another.

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    Inventiveness can set you off any trauma, suffering or a deep agony, so keep tailing her hand.

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    In the region of trauma all duration collapses, past becomes present, and future loses all meaning other than endless repetition.

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  • By Anonym

    In the specific case of the use of the term “false memory” to describe errors in details in laboratory tasks (e.g., in word-learning tasks), the media and public are set up all too easily to interpret such research as relevant to “false memories” of abuse because the term is used in the public domain to refer to contested memories of abuse. Because the term “false memory” is inextricably tied in the public to a social movement that questions the veracity of memories for childhood sexual abuse, the use of the term in scientific research that evaluates memory errors for details (not whole events) must be evaluated in this light." From: What's in a Name for Memory Errors? Implications and Ethical Issues Arising From the Use of the Term “False Memory” for Errors in Memory for Details, Journal: Ethics & Behavior 14(3) pages 201-233, 2004

  • By Anonym

    I often wondered how it would be to tramp off into the mountains and keep going until I was exhausted, then simply sink into the snow and fall asleep. Then the wolves could have me. To want to die in the forest and be eaten by wolves: another marker of incipient madness.

  • By Anonym

    I recently consulted to a therapist who felt he had accomplished something by getting his dissociative client to remain in her ANP throughout her sessions with him. His view reflects the fundamental mistake that untrained therapists tend to make with DID and DDNOS. Although his client was properly diagnosed, he assumed that the ANP should be encouraged to take charge of the other parts at all times. He also expected her to speak for them—in other words, to do their therapy. This denied the other parts the opportunity to reveal their secrets, heal their pain, or correct their childhood-based beliefs about the world. If you were doing family therapy, would it be a good idea to only meet with the father, especially if he had not talked with his children or his spouse in years? Would the other family members feel as if their experiences and feelings mattered? Would they be able to improve their relationships? You must work with the parts who are inside of the system. Directly.

  • By Anonym

    I remembered during puberty, through the anorexic mists of intermittent menstrual cycles, that man, my father, lifting Shirley's nightdress over her head and asking her in his mocking way to choose what colour condom she wanted. 'Red or yellow?' Which did she choose? I can't remember. Perhaps she alternated. Perhaps there were other colours. It didn't happen once. It happened again and again. I had no power to stop it. That man, my father, had some control over me. I was drugged by the black silence in that big house, the vile whiff of aftershave, the crushing torment of inevitability. My father fucked Shirley using red or yellow condoms and it was those condoms that brought it all to an end. It was my last realization of the day; any more would have been too much to contemplate. That time when my mother had found used condoms in bedroom, he had admitted, after a pointless burst my father's of denial, that he had been going to prostitutes. That was no doubt true but I can't imagine clients take used condoms away with them; prostitutes would surely get rid of the things. No. My father kept those used condoms as a prize. He was fucking his fourteen-year-old-daughter. He was proud of it. Rebecca welled up with tears. Poor thing, she kept saying. Poor thing.

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    Isaac gives his grief to the concrete. It makes sense. But Jackson can’t help but wonder: what happens when the concrete is gone? What happens when the grief digs itself out of the darkness?

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    I shoot the man who told me my womanism is of the devil As if he knew the demons that trouble me These demons that trouble me Have no trouble shooting you They shoot you They will not pray For God’s forgiveness I always knew I had a little bit of heathen in me. Always knew I had a lot of woman in me. We shoot you

  • By Anonym

    I shared with Fleur the mysterious self-contempt of the survivor. There were times we hated who we were, and who we had to become, in order not to follow those we loved into the next world. We grew hard. We became impenetrable, sparing of our pity. Sorrows that leveled other people were small to us. We made no move to avoid pain. Sometimes we even welcomed it--we were clumsy with knives, fire, boiling water, steel traps. Pain took our minds off the greater pain that was the mistake that we still existed.

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    i see the sky as beautiful, Regardless of its shine Because I wake each day grateful, That I get another chance to be alive.

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    I spent many years trying to make up reasons about why I had the flashbacks, memories, continuous nightmares. When I finally decided to quit trying to hide from truth, I began to heal.

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    …is methodical abuse, often using indoctrination, aimed at breaking the will of another human being. In a 1989 report, the Ritual Abuse Task Force of the L.A. County Commission for Women defined ritual abuse as: “Ritual Abuse usually involves repeated abuse over an extended period of time. The physical abuse is severe, sometimes including torture and killing. The sexual abuse is usually painful,humiliating, intended as a means of gaining dominance over the victim.The psychological abuse is devastating and involves the use of ritual indoctrination. It includes mind control techniques which convey to the victim a profound terror of the cult members …most victims are in a state of terror, mind control and dissociation” (Pg. 35-36)

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    Isolation of catastrophic experiences. Dissociation may function to seal off overwhelming trauma into a compartmentalized area of conscious until the person is better able to integrate it into mainstream consciousness. The function of dissociation is particularly common in survivors of combat, political torture, or natural or transportation disasters.

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    I stood there a long while, staring at that tree. It looked so strong So beautiful. Hurt right down the middle But alive and well. Cee touched my shoulder Lightly. Frank? Yes? Come on, brother. Let's go home.

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    It doesn't take two minutes on an examining table for a girl to know that abortion is painful and destructive and it'll have far-reaching effects on her life. Besides the emotional trauma of going through something so violent, there are the physical aspects, the aftereffects. Unfortunately, by the time she's gone that far, it's too late to change her mind.

  • By Anonym

    It fascinated me how depression and anxiety overlap with post-traumatic stress disorder. Had we been through some trauma we didn't know about? Was the noise and speed of modern life the trauma for our caveman brains? Was I that soft? Or was life a kind of war most people didn't see?

  • By Anonym

    It had started to drizzle. The lamp poles cast a kaleidoscope of light dancing across the puddles in the road. The rain made Sam feel even more lost now, as if these shadowy events were invisible to the world. As if the night was cloaked in anonymity. This wasn’t a peaceful rain - it was a sad one. A drizzle, which wept for the inevitable. Sam knew even if she got Alison out of this alive, the cuts on their lives had already been made, pooling the blood of consequence beneath their feet as the night dragged on. Whichever way this went, they’d have scars from this night. Scars and scabs and things which could not be spoken. And that made her feel utterly hopeless.

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    I think I broke Kerri,” she said. “Go fix her,” Al commanded, unfazed. “We’ve got enough broken parts.

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    It is always a mistake to underestimate how long it takes for mankind to understand the traumas it has suffered, especially the self-inflicted ones.

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    It is a political fight between a group of well-financed, well-organized people whose freedom, livelihood, finances, reputations, or liberty is being threatened by disclosures of child sexual abuse and--on the other hand--a group of well-meaning, ill-organized, underfinanced, and often terribly naive academics who expect fair play.

  • By Anonym

    It is a strange thing that all the memories have these two qualities. They are always full of quietness, that is the most striking thing about them; and even when things weren’t like that in reality, they still seem to have that quality. They are soundless apparitions, which speak to me by looks and gestures, wordless and silent—and their silence is precisely what disturbs me.

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  • By Anonym

    It is my hope that this book helps those who know and love people with DID: family members, lovers, coworkers, and friends. It is also my hope that those charged with intervening in families in which there is violence will take away a more nuanced approach to their important work, informed by a deeper understanding of trauma. Most of all, I hope that those of you who have DID know that the disorder itself is an incredible survival technique. You should feel proud to have survived. Trauma has had a major impact on my life, as it has on yours, but I’ve learned that my life extends beyond the pain and darkness. Survivors of trauma are full of life, creativity, courage, and love. We are more than the sum of our parts.

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