Thursday, November 20, 2014
The other day while I was in downtown Minneapolis I heard what I suppose you would call a street musician playing that well known song associated with the movie Annie. The following lyric went through my head: ‘The sun’ll come out tomorrow bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun…”
Yes, life will be better tomorrow. I have been telling myself that a lot lately. I keep telling myself to keep believing that tomorrow will be a better day than today was. It’s my way of coping lately. Yet again I have found myself struggling with the fact that the solidity of my recovery is not quite as resilient as I would like it to be. It certainly does not appear to be as solid as our rapidly solidifying Minnesota lakes and ponds. (Yes, I am griping about the weather again. It’s been below freezing for ten days in a row…and twenty degrees below the norm)
Tomorrow I will be going to see my primary care doctor again. I am hoping, yet again, for good news. I am hoping I will find some significant support and reassurance that whatever has been plaguing my lungs to some degree for much of the last six weeks is not something more serious than a very persistent viral infection. Have you ever been physically ill for so long that you become virtually psychically sick of being physically sick? That is how I have felt in the last few days. I wonder what qualifies a person to have their physical constitution described as immuno-suppressed or immune system compromised. I feel like such a term could describe me recently.
Going through another bout of enhanced hardship has placed a certain topic front and center in my mind. And that is the topic of the interrelationship between poverty and trauma. What actually is the connection? I would wager that it is this: Trauma can impact a person’s life by reducing said person’s capacity to learn, work and be productive. In limiting the possibilities a person can realize in life trauma can thereby reduce a person’s prospects for transcending circumstances in life that may already be inherently limiting. In other words, trauma increases the likelihood that life will be more difficult and less joyful. And trauma, I believe, increases the risk that a person will become or remain poor. When your own mind is exceedingly clouded with the horror of trauma how can you concentrate well enough to actually achieve significant things like obtaining an education, holding down a job, cultivating rewarding interpersonal relationships or getting married. Trauma narrows, shrinks and dulls our world. I will be blunt: to be traumatized sucks.
Do I have hard-core data to back up my assertion that trauma increases the risk of being poor? No I have not researched scholarly literature. But do you seriously think that the reality would be otherwise. Wouldn’t common sense alone suggest that my thinking on this issue is almost surely correct?
I began this blog nearly seventeen months ago as a creative and therapeutic outlet for myself and my own recovery. It has gradually blossomed into something more than what it first was. I have made friends by virtue of speaking of myself as a freelance trauma recovery advocate. My willingness to honor who I am and where I am at has opened some doors that might not have otherwise ever even appeared on my psychic radar. I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way by virtue of the fact that I have chosen to live an authentic life free of shame, guilt or undue inhibition.
Lately I have noticed that my blog readership has been flagging a bit. Perhaps this is due to the upcoming time and attention consuming reality that is the holiday season. As I noted recently it will be my first holiday season in which the veneer of trauma that once clouded my perception of the world is decisively gone. I still grieve how many years passed in which I perceived the world in a distorted way. But I also find myself rejoicing that this lesser way of being in the world is now something truly relegated to my past life.
The future is waiting.