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Druidry: Healing Trauma and Overcoming Mistakes!

Druidry: Healing Trauma and Overcoming Mistakes!

Some people have terrible experiences and get over them without too much trouble, others do not.

This is something I’ve thought about a lot, and I have a theory that one of the differences may be whether you feel that you could have done differently.

Sometimes there are no good choices. Whatever a person does in Gaza right now, they cannot act in ways that will keep them safe. No amount of planning, assessing, trying will make any difference. We humans are drawn to looking for patterns and explanations, and things we can do to shift the odds in our favour. Sometimes this serves us well. When you only have bad options, you can’t make good choices.

In war, this kind of powerlessness is caused deliberately. In situations of natural disaster, people can be overwhelmed in much the same way. It’s not hard to see the temptation to blame angry gods, just to have an explanation and the small feeling of control that gives you.

In cases of abuse, the victim is often actively encouraged to see what’s happening as their fault. That keeps you focused on your own behaviour and shortcomings, and on trying to do better so as not to provoke cruel responses. But of course if you are being abused, you’re being set up to fail and will never be good enough.

When you think you are the problem, it is very hard to trust yourself. Hyper-vigilance and anxiety follow. Just because something seems ok doesn’t mean you can trust it to still be ok in an hour’s time. You learn to be afraid of yourself, afraid of ‘mistakes’ and that anything less than perfection will be dangerous. Of course what constitutes perfection will vary so there’s no way of winning at that.

When we can’t take risks and make mistakes, we can’t grow, or heal. To recover from trauma you have to be able to trust, and to live. Taking action is really hard when you are paralysed by the fear of mistakes. The very things that offer ways out of a trauma legacy are made threatening by the impact of trauma, and this is a hard trap to break out of.

I look at the ways in which governments demonise migrants – people who are often fleeing from horror. I think about the ways in which the people of Gaza are being blamed for the genocide being carried out there. I think about how sick and disabled people are blamed for things they have no control over. There’s a lot of state-led trauma going on in the world.

My own experience of trauma and healing has shown me that my sense of what I am to blame for has been really important. Learning not to feel responsible for things I had no control over has been a difficult process. Having peace and safe space, and support with rethinking things has made so much odds to me. Peace is essential for healing. And yet collectively we want to treat people fleeing warzones as criminals.

Kindness isn’t hard, and it does so much good. Yet so many people choose cruelty instead, and indifference to the suffering of others. I remain mystified by this.

Credit

druid life

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings.
Credit: druidlife.wordpress.com
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