I have been reading some books about trauma that I don’t entirely agree with, but that scare me nonetheless. I’m waiting on The Body Keeps Score through a library hold, and I’m anxious to see what that book holds.
In the meantime, I’ve been reading some books by Dr. Peter Levine–the one who does all the tiger running away stuff, yeah. I’m not entirely sold on his take that literally EVERYTHING is trauma, but at the same time, I can see how some things just… stick. There are certain things from my childhood that just aren’t a huge deal that I remember like yesterday, and then others that I probably should remember but can’t. I remember being utterly devastated by losing my favorite Caboodle–those trendy teal-and-pink-and-purple plastic makeup caddies that were all the rage in the 80s. I don’t remember some of the violent arguments my parents had that I wrote about in my journals.
In any case, this has been keeping me up at night because, well, I HAVE KIDS. I have two beautiful, perfect, innocent little beings who are going to be traumatized someday by something. I mean, my son has been under general anesthesia TEN times in his 6 years (chronic ear and throat issues). We talk though things, and he seems entirely well-adjusted (I asked the school therapist)… but, will he someday have some kind of stress response to all that? Will my daughter be traumatized by some little thing–she is SO SENSITIVE and cries at the drop of a hat–and be scarred forever?
When I think about all this while I’m in my best frame of mind, I almost want to laugh. They are so loved, they are so secure. We don’t have to worry about money, and they have everything they could ever want. Their parents don’t fight, they’ve never been spanked. They care so little when they break something or spill something that I know they’re not scared of accidents and doing things wrong… But, at the same time, I can’t protect them from everything. What will their traumas be, and how could I have prevented them? This weight on my shoulders is somehow both fabricated and so real at the same time. Day 42.