Persevering through trauma

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Took a walk with my wife and told her all about my fears, doubts and guilt regarding this experience. We cried together and she told me to not be so hard on myself. "You're only human," she told me.

Feeling much lighter.
 
We had a good cry-fest this morning. This time my wife was crying. She had a dream that awakened the pain and fear she experienced when I was in hospital not knowing if I would live or die, and if I did live, not knowing how I would be mentally and physically. There was a real chance that I would survive but be mentally crippled.

We lay in bed holding each other and crying. Sometimes that's all you can do. Sometimes that's the best thing you can do. To simply listen to one another. To simply be there for each other. To be present, mind, body and soul. After letting the pain go we both felt better.

This is just how life is.
You will feel pain.
You will experience trauma.
You won't be able to control it.
You won't be able to stop it.
You must accept it.
You will survive,
But it won't be easy.

Rely upon God, always.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
 

bobinfaith

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We had a good cry-fest this morning. This time my wife was crying. She had a dream that awakened the pain and fear she experienced when I was in hospital not knowing if I would live or die, and if I did live, not knowing how I would be mentally and physically. There was a real chance that I would survive but be mentally crippled. We lay in bed holding each other and crying. Sometimes that's all you can do. Sometimes that's the best thing you can do. To simply listen to one another. To simply be there for each other. To be present, mind, body and soul. After letting the pain go we both felt better.

Hello LearningToLetGo;

This reminded me of my wife when we received real bad news at different times, regarding two of her brother's life, both were violent. She broke out in a bitter cry. I sat there next to her and just held her. I didn't say anything but just held her. Both times lasted quite a while.

God made a way in those circumstances, both brothers are doing fine and we got past it.




 
I have been contemplating compassion. At its core is an awareness of suffering.

Before one can alleviate suffering one must understand suffering. To understand suffering one must first suffer. This is something we all experience to one degree or another.

The typical response to suffering, so it seems, is to flee from it. No one wants to suffer so we give it a wide leeway, both in ourselves and in others. How then do we help others who suffer when our natural inclination is to run away? Do we assist them to run away also? Is this helpful?

For example: When one stands upon hot coals it makes sense to leap from the coals onto cool ground, but does this address the underlying problem? In other words, does one subsequently stand yet again on hot coals if they be present, not understanding that the coals themselves are the source of pain? Perhaps instead of helping ourselves and others to leap to cool ground we would be better served to look down at our own feet, to recognize the coals upon which we stand and to realize they are the source of our pain? By first acknowledging the underlying source of suffering we can then begin the process of true healing, no?

It's said that if you save a person's life you become responsible for their life. Is this so? If you take the time in your ministry to serve the poor, to serve the needy, to serve the suffering, is it enough to give some food, money or temporary shelter then go home? Do you not have some obligation to follow through, to see that the person you help is truly served, and not just with lip service? Are you not then responsible?

This is a lot to ask.
 
Before one can alleviate suffering one must understand suffering. To understand suffering one must first suffer.

"I have a relationship with pain."

I wrote the above line in my journal a few days ago and have been pondering its significance since. Regarding pain, the typical response to pain in my observation is to attempt to make it go away. Pain is, well, painful, and nobody wants to experience it. Yet experience it we must since pain is unavoidable.

What do we do when we must experience pain? In other words, how do we process the unavoidable? (Please note: I am specifically referring to emotional pain, which I call trauma. There is also physical pain. Physical pain... well, it sucks. Almost anything that can alleviate physical pain is good. I see very little reason to tolerate physical pain, but that's another topic).

The problem with emotional pain is that it is invisible. One cannot point to a location on the body and say, "this hurts" in such a way that a doctor can diagnose and treat it. Emotional pain is in the head. It's in the heart. It has no physical structure, yet it is physical in the sense that it's of the body. For example, emotional pain feels heavy in the chest. It sits like a rock in the gut. It has gravity, in the sense of gravitas. It's weighty.

Yet it's also invisible, and because of this many people discount it as not real. "Just get over it!" they may say. Indeed, they may say this with very well intention. Yet it's not that easy. It's possibly not even desirable. Pain -- emotional pain -- trauma -- must be processed. It cannot be ignored and if it is ignored it won't just go away. It lingers. For example, my 78 year old neighbor recently began suffering panic attacks from his experience in the Vietnam war over fifty years ago. The trigger was his wife getting sick. Fifty year old trauma -- that he did not know he had! -- resurfaced just like that!

So it must be dealt with. But how?

To start it must be acknowledged. Trauma is real. Pain is real. PTSD is real. Acknowledge it.

Second, it must be accepted. Don't pass judgement on it. You would never say, "You are a bad person because your leg is broken!" That's nonsensical to write. Yet how often do we say, "You are a bad person because you still feel emotional pain years after XYZ event!" where XYZ is anything traumatic? (The "get over it" effect). Ask the soldiers who are told not to express their pain. It's more common than we like to admit.

Third, it must be forgiven. "Dear body: I know you feel incredible pain. I am sorry you had to experience this. It's not your fault. I'm here for you. We'll get through this together. I love you." Repeat the above as often as needed.

Lastly, it must be released. Letting go of pain requires proper timing. You can't let it go too early, otherwise the pain will simply go underground to resurface unexpectedly in a moment of stress. Likewise, it can't be held onto for too long, otherwise it will fester like a boil. You'll know when it's time to let it go because you won't want to hold it anymore.

"I have a relationship with pain."

Yes, you do. We all have a relationship with pain. Best to realize that sooner rather than later.
 
Jason your testimony and thread is encouraging for me. I have a friend who is on medication, but she now has also has taken to vaping to relieve her pain. I've never seen her cry but she must be hiding a lot of pain in her life and not sure what to do to be a friend, from all the trauma she had in the past. (Before I knew her)

Usually we just go on outings and hang out, but last time we went to the movies, she was vaping and had to go have a puff about 5 times.
She hasn't been through a war like you, but has had some traumatic things happen, losing a brother and a daughter. Oh and her dad died two years ago.

She used to smoke cigarettes and then stopped and I was like hooray, but then she got into comfort eating and that was a disaster too as she's always on some kind of diet that never works. Sometimes she needs to go into hospital cos of all the stress. She can't really work (i.e hold down a steady job) because her mind gets distracted.

I think for her some things are too painful to talk about.
 

bobinfaith

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"I have a relationship with pain."

I wrote the above line in my journal a few days ago and have been pondering its significance since. Regarding pain, the typical response to pain in my observation is to attempt to make it go away. Pain is, well, painful, and nobody wants to experience it. Yet experience it we must since pain is unavoidable.

What do we do when we must experience pain? In other words, how do we process the unavoidable? (Please note: I am specifically referring to emotional pain, which I call trauma. There is also physical pain. Physical pain... well, it sucks. Almost anything that can alleviate physical pain is good. I see very little reason to tolerate physical pain, but that's another topic).

The problem with emotional pain is that it is invisible. One cannot point to a location on the body and say, "this hurts" in such a way that a doctor can diagnose and treat it. Emotional pain is in the head. It's in the heart. It has no physical structure, yet it is physical in the sense that it's of the body. For example, emotional pain feels heavy in the chest. It sits like a rock in the gut. It has gravity, in the sense of gravitas. It's weighty.

Yet it's also invisible, and because of this many people discount it as not real. "Just get over it!" they may say. Indeed, they may say this with very well intention. Yet it's not that easy. It's possibly not even desirable. Pain -- emotional pain -- trauma -- must be processed. It cannot be ignored and if it is ignored it won't just go away. It lingers. For example, my 78 year old neighbor recently began suffering panic attacks from his experience in the Vietnam war over fifty years ago. The trigger was his wife getting sick. Fifty year old trauma -- that he did not know he had! -- resurfaced just like that!

So it must be dealt with. But how?

To start it must be acknowledged. Trauma is real. Pain is real. PTSD is real. Acknowledge it.

Second, it must be accepted. Don't pass judgement on it. You would never say, "You are a bad person because your leg is broken!" That's nonsensical to write. Yet how often do we say, "You are a bad person because you still feel emotional pain years after XYZ event!" where XYZ is anything traumatic? (The "get over it" effect). Ask the soldiers who are told not to express their pain. It's more common than we like to admit.

Third, it must be forgiven. "Dear body: I know you feel incredible pain. I am sorry you had to experience this. It's not your fault. I'm here for you. We'll get through this together. I love you." Repeat the above as often as needed.

Lastly, it must be released. Letting go of pain requires proper timing. You can't let it go too early, otherwise the pain will simply go underground to resurface unexpectedly in a moment of stress. Likewise, it can't be held onto for too long, otherwise it will fester like a boil. You'll know when it's time to let it go because you won't want to hold it anymore.

"I have a relationship with pain."

Yes, you do. We all have a relationship with pain. Best to realize that sooner rather than later.

Hello Jason;

I read your post and agree with what you share. I want you to know I'm not a clinical therapist but I'm with you, brother.

As a pastor I have ministered to many men, women (with a woman leader present,) married couples and youth.

Many of them encounter physical, emotional and spiritual pain. This pain can last a short while or the long term as you shared.

We found that prayer has been a healing power and can point us in the right direction when professional counseling or therapy is needed because at times it is very much needed.

In prayer the request "heal me, God" is natural, but recognizing, "is this pain coming from God?" Most that I have ministered to, pray with me this question and in time will respond with no. Therefore, if it's not from God then this pain does not bless one and it hinders one's spirit.

I do get the "thorn in the side" from 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Whether this gives one to think about, it is also a start in the right direction of prayer and what God reveals about one's condition. If one truly believes the pain is from God, He will point us in the right direction from prayer and raise His servant (professional help) to administer clinical or medical help.

The world doesn't always see prayer as beneficial because it can't be visibly seen and resolve the pain instantly. But we are empowered by faith to pray and God always goes ahead, whether slow or speedy healing, regardless, He is faithful.

The symptoms of PTSD, trauma, depression, emotional, physical, spiritual and all the unpleasant variations of pain is a big deal in our lives that we must deal with. But to God nothing is impossible for He protects His children by getting them through anything and everything.

Jason, you are a seasoned disciple of the Word and your faith, "Everything else is minutiae falling by the wayside." God's Agape Love is bigger and greater than any minutiae. He gets us through the process of pain and prayer when we cry out to Him.

Like I said earlier, I'm with you, Jason and what you are sharing regarding pain. I am not a licensed clinical therapist keeping in mind forum rule 3.2d at Christian Forum Site.

But I can minister and share my testimony for those who deal with pain, are faithful and empowered to pray incessantly.

God bless you, brother, and those you minister to.
 

bobinfaith

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Rest is necessary to go through any kind of trauma also.
I found I needed lots more rest when I had a broken heart. I slept a lot. God heals more when we rest and let Him do the work of moving us through it.

Hello Via;

You brought up a very important point. Rest is also important. Rest deprivation can lead to health problems, breakdowns of one's wellness and forgetfullness.

I didn't mention that in my last post because I forgot. L😎L!
 
She hasn't been through a war like you
I am a veteran but haven't been through a war. The closest I have been to combat is a tour in Bosnia in 1996. My service ended before 9/11 and the subsequent wars.

The trauma that I write about is specifically related to medical conditions that I have recently undergone. I assume the pattern of trauma applies to many arenas, including combat survivors, but I don't want to misrepresent myself. That's not my experience.
 

bobinfaith

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Thank you.
I write about my feelings because it helps me process them. I share my feelings with others in hopes that they might help the person who reads this.

Good morning, LearningToLetGo;

Thank you so much!

There are many on the
world wide public who struggle with opening up, and your thread, Persevering through trauma could encourage them.

We're blessed you're a part of our family here. 😇

God bless you, Jason, and your family.
 
I awoke this morning feeling sad. Part of me wanted to cry but the tears would not come.

Fifteen minutes later I was downstairs making coffee when my wife walked in. She began talking about the day I was admitted to the ICU and my experience being airlifted from one hospital to another. She spoke about seeing a vision of Jesus to my right and Mother Mary to my left as I was being transported. (Neither my wife nor I are Catholic, although she went to a Catholic school as a girl). Jesus reassured her that it was not my time and he would not be taking me home yet.

It was then that we both broke down and began crying. I held her for what felt like minutes as we both released the pain within.

"I am sorry I put you through this", I said.

"It's not your fault", she replied.

We continued to cry.

Now we are sitting in the living room, enjoying the morning sun through the large windows. I spent time reading the book of Acts from the New Testament. Luke, the author of Acts, recounts Paul's road to Damascus conversion experience three times in that book, each time in more detail. I found that interesting. I then wrote in my journal.

Life is beautiful.
Life is painful.
In all things give glory to God.
Amen.
 
PTSD is a strange thing in that it lives primarily in the body. Like its cousin, mourning, it's predominantly physical. This means you feel it first before necessarily being aware of it. How insidious!

This is why you can be going about your day and suddenly feel gripping anxiety, fear or dread. It's because the mind only just noticed what the body has been experiencing for minutes or hours already. In times like this you need to listen to the body. Stop what you are doing. Sit or recline in comfort. Breathe slowly. Listen to your heart beating. Feel your own body as it expands and contracts with each breath.

And love yourself. Remind yourself how much God loves you. Remember you are a child of the all mighty creator.

Sit with that as long as it takes. Then eat some chocolate.
 
You are welcome, but that was a long time ago. I haven't worn a uniform since the nineties.

Regarding trauma, today has been a mixed bag. Everything is quiet on the outside. Work is slow. I have almost no stress. Yet several times I found myself crying. It feels like mourning, which I guess it is -- mourning for the old me who died when I fell ill.

"The King is dead. Long live the King."

I wrote the word 'abused' in my journal. I suffered abuse. I was abused in my body. I was abused in my mind. I was abused in my emotion. I was victimized. I was helpless at the mercy of forces out of my control. I had no control. (Don't misunderstand me. We none of us have control. Never had. Control is an illusion. It's just I was stripped of that illusion. That's part of the "old man" being stripped away to make room for the new. Again, mourning )

It was in this state that I turned to Jesus, in great measure because I could do no else, but also because I felt his call to me.

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)

Jesus can be a tough drill sergeant.

Today was unexpectedly difficult. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.
Brother Jason, I to would like to thank you for your service! I suffered with such deep, deep depression, from my great loses, and from becoming ill for so long, that I struggled for 6 years with a spirit of suicide close by me, even though I was a strong Christian for 45 years. Some time, I'd like to share my full testimony of how the Lord brought me through it all! God Bless you my brother, and I'll be praying for you! Please let me know how your doing on a regular basis ok?
 
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Brother Jason, I to would like to thank you for your service! I suffered with such deep, deep depression, from my great loses, and from becoming ill for so long, that I struggled for 6 years with a spirit of suicide close by me, even though I was a strong Christian for 45 years. Some time, I'd like to share my full testimony of how the Lord brought me through it all! God Bless you my brother, and I'll be praying for you! Please let me know how your doing on a regular basis ok?
I wanted you to hear this song that I sang and recorded, and put on You Tube, but it say's restricted because it has some pics of a little blood from wounded soldiers, but if it's not to much trouble for you to look up Wounded Soldier by Derek Conklin, I'm sure it would really bless you. Please hear me singing to you! Blessing's
 

bobinfaith

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I wanted you to hear this song that I sang and recorded, and put on You Tube, but it say's restricted because it has some pics of a little blood from wounded soldiers, but if it's not to much trouble for you to look up Wounded Soldier by Derek Conklin, I'm sure it would really bless you. Please hear me singing to you! Blessing's

Hello Derek88;

I tried to open Wounded Soldier by Derek Conklin but no results. I would like to watch this if possible.

Thank you, brother.
 
Hello Derek88;

I tried to open Wounded Soldier by Derek Conklin but no results. I would like to watch this if possible.

Thank you, brother.
Hi brother Bob. Thank you for your interest in watching my wounded soldier song. I'm sorry, I forgot that last night I deleted it from my channel because I used my song and remade it for a prisoner I'm writing to, and wanted him to have the full impact that this was from my heart to him in the way I remade it! Here is my song wounded soldier, but it's titled a movie for TJ!

 

Via dolarossa

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Hi brother Bob. Thank you for your interest in watching my wounded soldier song. I'm sorry, I forgot that last night I deleted it from my channel because I used my song and remade it for a prisoner I'm writing to, and wanted him to have the full impact that this was from my heart to him in the way I remade it! Here is my song wounded soldier, but it's titled a movie for TJ!

lovely song!

The scars we bear usually make for the best songs.

All the jolly songs I hear dont touch me nearly as deeply as the suffering songs. There is a beauty in it that is universal. We get to see the truth about life, that goes beyond our conscious minds.

I notice even children, who are naturally happy most of the time, their little faces look sad when they see suffering.
 
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