Maybe the heat has gone to my head or perhaps my blood sugar is crazy because I overate at the new snack bar we visited for dinner, but I find myself thinking about trauma right now. Weird, eh?
Actually, I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. I suspect my last visit to Pine Ridge set it off. I didn’t see anything that was more traumatic than I had seen on any other visit. That wasn’t what started me thinking about this.
The question I’ve been mulling over is what is worse, a single traumatic event (for example, a tornado destroying your home or a severe auto accident) or a lifetime of small traumas (for example, being shuttled from relative to relative as a child because your parents are unable to care for you, having to go without heat, the continuous small traumas of being bullied)?
I have experienced the single traumatic event personally. My father died very unexpectedly when I was 12 years old. He was 36. In those days (eons ago, if you ask my children) there was no grief counseling. You got a week off from school to grieve, then it was back to the same routine like nothing had changed. But it had and you would never be quite the same again.
I have not experienced the frequent, multi-trauma scenario, so I really have no perspective on that one — save for what I’ve seen happening on the rez, where teen suicide has been called epidemic.
This is not my usual kind of post, I guess. I’m not on a soapbox today. I’m not pontificating or trying to educate.
I’m just mulling.
I think mulling is good for us, just letting things kind of simmer in your mind. I don’t think we have to have the answers all the time. But I do think it is important to consider the difficult questions now and then. It keeps us human.
So mull on that question. If you have thoughts on it, feel free to share them.
I’m going to sit here and mull, too.