Category Archives: post-traumatic stress

Questions & Answers about Early Trauma

Recently, a reader wrote me to express appreciation for my 2014 blog post “ReStory Notes: Some Powerful Questions & Answers” and to ask permission to post it on Facebook. In answering a resounding yes, I reread the post and realized how spot-on it was and how it might be helpful to someone struggling to understand him…

Saved by a Spider: Connection is Key

Spider with Suicide             A long-legged spider hung above where I, twenty-one, lay on an attic cot in the abandoned house I’d climbed into—   the place I swallowed all those pills but woke up—frightened, disappointed, baffled really.   Now what?   I touched the cool brick next to me,…

The Attack of the Great White Shark: A Trauma Trigger Strikes

As I lay in the dark in bed recently trying to sleep, the fear of death paralyzed me. My stomach was tight, my mind raced with fears: Has pyloric stenosis finally gotten me after all these years?   The week before, I had been pulling oil, i.e. chewing coconut oil, an ancient prescription for reducing inflammation in the…

To Be or Not Be …….. Grateful

As adult survivors of infant surgery without anesthesia, it’s difficult to be angry about what happened to us early on. We feel grateful for having been helped and saved, and we should. The surgeons, the nurses, the staff, our parents, and families leaned in and lent a hand. We survived because of them. What’s not…

Images Key to Unlocking Preverbal Trauma

My pastel “Self-Hate,” on display at the Sacramento Poetry Center this month, along with two others of mine and those of eight other artists who also write as part of Jennifer O’Neill Pickering’s Sable & Quill exhibit, is an expression of the feelings I felt about my body and about life in general, especially as…

To Thine Own Triggers Be True: The Power of Self-Awareness

I am walking down the fifth-floor hallway of the Superior Court of Sacramento at G and 8th, on jury duty for the fourth day. The tiled floor, black with gray and white flecks, is meticulously cared for and shines with a recent polishing. The round ceiling lights reflect brightly in the black squares below, and I…

Being in the Now: Finding Freedom by Writing about Trauma

Every month, I lead a ReStory Your Life Meetup in the Sacramento area for trauma survivors. Different people come each time.We have been meeting for well over a year, more frequently before I had a teaching job. For a while, a steady group met twice a month at a cafe in Rocklin. Writing is at the…