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Re-enactment: The Soul Telling us Something

Twice in my twenties, I found myself lying on my back, crying out for help: once on a beach the morning after failing to muster the will to slit my wrist and the second, about two years earlier, lying on a cot in the attic of an abandoned house, where I cried out “help!” to a small window filled with turquoise light. (The night before, I had taken 250 Extra-strength Bufferin and, much to my dismay, had woken up alive.)

No doubt, these scenarios are re-enactments of lying on my back in surgery at twenty-six days old, unanesthetized, and paralyzed by a drug to keep me still. Did I go out of my mind?  I think I did. My brain froze with trauma. I cried out for help then in whatever way an infant can who has no words or ability to fight or flee. Dr. Louis Tinnin, in his latest post on his blog Infant Surgery without Anesthesia, offers insight into the plight of the infant undergoing unanesthetized surgery. He discusses Edvard Munch’s famous painting “The Scream” –what Tinnin calls a “silent scream” for help.

Through re-enactment, our souls tell us what needs to be resolved so that we can heal and thrive. Until we pay attention and resolve the trauma, our souls keep reminding us. Here are the drawings of my silent cry for help on the beach that day in 1976:

0 Responses to Re-enactment: The Soul Telling us Something

    • I’m realizing that there were two beaches and that this information is probably not clear in my post. The first reference to the beach was an area in Barnegat, New Jersey along the Barnegat Bay or River. The second reference to the beach where I drew that drawing of the letters trying to spell out the work “HELP” was at Land’s End in San Francisco. You are new to the area, but you’ll make it over to the beach in SF one day soon, I’m sure. There’s lots of seals there and cypress trees. It’s where the Cliff House is, a popular eatery, bar and hangout.

    • I’m realizing that there were two beaches and that this information is probably not clear in my post. The first reference to the beach was an area in Barnegat, New Jersey along the Barnegat Bay or River. The second reference to the beach where I drew that drawing of the letters trying to spell out the work “HELP” was at Land’s End in San Francisco. You are new to the area, but you’ll make it over to the beach in SF one day soon, I’m sure. There’s lots of seals there and cypress trees. It’s where the Cliff House is, a popular eatery, bar and hangout.

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