How to Cope with Trauma
An attempt and explanation.

It is said that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction: that forces always come in pairs. Analogous to this function would be the role that trauma plays in development — whether it be as the event that incites a tragedy or a miracle — the repercussions of a traumatic experience never fail to be profound. But what is often ignored regarding the consequences of horrific experiences is that the manner in which they manifest in large part involves a choice: a decision to take the path least of resistance or to respond with an opposing force sufficient enough to counteract any continual propagation. Such is the difference between becoming horrible from a horrific encounter and becoming honorable. Such is the difference between being made from an event and making the best of one. Such is the difference between succumbing to villainy and becoming the sort of hero that only a tragedy can foster.

But remarks of this kind are usually met with defeatism — or, a general belief that there exist encounters so terrible that the adversities associated with them can't possibly be overcame — to which I'd usually reply with a quote from Nietzsche:
To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.
I affirm this statement with my life because to deny it when you yourself has suffered is to make yourself the victim of a pointless tragedy, and to justify living in a world that is simultaneously meaningless and malevolent is to justify a contribution to its malevolence. For example,

Near the inauguration of my eighteenth birthday I began to have my first of what would later become a series of psychotic episodes. Now, before I'm accused of equating the non-reality of psychosis with the experience of say, being raped as a child, and the forceful, daily reliving of that experience, it's important to acknowledge that I do not have a counter-argument to that response, or anything else that I could, or would ever dispense to dismiss or devalue that experience. But I do have this:
Imagine something worse than the worst thing you can imagine.
I'll save you the trouble. There is nothing. And I do not live each day in fear of reliving my traumatic experiences, but with the awareness that at any moment I could be plunged directly into a new one, possibly of an equal or greater intensity, and for a duration that would not end unless it was alongside my life. And for these experiences, I have no one to blame, and nothing to fault but my own dysfunctional neurochemistry.

Though, I suppose I could blame God — and hate him for giving me an illness that I didn't deserve and can't fix, only to leave me with the presence of mind to contemplate its horrors but not avoid them. I suppose that I could even blame you, and grow to hate all that is good for being so unscathed that it would dare taunt me with love that I was never given! And given to was I without, I was stripped of all warmth and given a past that could chill anyone. And for what? — to peddle my petty prose in hopes that others may find some meaning in a life that I couldn't?
What sort've God would allow me?
And then I suppose that I could take out my rage on the least deserving only then to take my life afterwards to show you and the world that there exist no god loving enough to prevent or punish me. That'll show you.
But of course, I would never do that, because that is how evil reacts, and I understand the difference between being made from your experiences and making the best of them, and that there exist no more righteous of a correction for an undue hell than to wallow in its presence and birth fucking poetry out what could've became nihilism.

That is how I cope with my trauma.

Text Author: Antjuan Finch

Published: December 7th, 2018

Made on