trauma and healing are a big deal right now

i mean this in the most genuine way possible: trauma and healing are blowing up right now. in so many different places and spaces, i’m hearing a ton about people doing work that addresses trauma, often via a desire to heal from it. (note this is interwoven with and also indicated by my recent obsession with bessel van der kolk).

my general sense of what’s going on is this: as a country, we are trying to move forward. and we have been trying to for a while. and some subset(s) of people have identified our inability to move forward as been rooted to trauma in our past.

i can’t remember who said this, but someone interviewed on on being said once that america is a nation founded of trauma and amnesia. the traumas of genocide, slavery, patriachy, and sexism are literally what created the economic environment that lead to the split from england, the founding documents being written, etc etc.

so, the movement towards trauma work feels like a “lean in” moment. moving towards the pain in order to move through it. and you can’t know how to move forward from a type of pain until you’ve clearly identified it.

this looks like dealing with systems of oppression at individual, organizational, and societal levels. this work is happening everywhere. it’s a good thing.

but once there, the work of healing is a totally different type of work. and we, culturally, don’t actually have that much space for thinking about healing processes. being a western, medical-centric system, we underprioritize the healing process. even in medicine, doctors are largely trained to fix problems and then move on to the next patient. how someone heals from a surgery is mostly an afterthought.

so there is an explosion of people doing and talking about healing work (or maybe i’m just being drawn to the ones that were always doing it?). whether that’s dealing with mental, physical, emotional, historical, situational, or workplace abuse/trauma, respect seems to be rising for people who know how to help others move through and heal from traumas.

all of this is good. but it’s hard. feels like one of those “it’s always darkest before the storm” moments. hope we can make it through without falling apart.

or do i…

ps - but this is total bullshit… appropriation and badness all up in this (ht to aubre marie for the article).

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