Trauma Quotes

Quotes tagged as "trauma" Showing 1-30 of 1,166
Laurell K. Hamilton
“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
Laurell K. Hamilton, Mistral's Kiss

Fred Rogers
“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.”
Fred Rogers

Andrea Gibson
“The nutritionist said I should eat root vegetables.
Said if I could get down thirteen turnips a day
I would be grounded, rooted.
Said my head would not keep flying away
to where the darkness lives.

The psychic told me my heart carries too much weight.
Said for twenty dollars she’d tell me what to do.
I handed her the twenty. She said, “Stop worrying, darling.
You will find a good man soon.”

The first psycho therapist told me to spend
three hours each day sitting in a dark closet
with my eyes closed and ears plugged.
I tried it once but couldn’t stop thinking
about how gay it was to be sitting in the closet.

The yogi told me to stretch everything but the truth.
Said to focus on the out breath. Said everyone finds happiness
when they care more about what they give
than what they get.

The pharmacist said, “Lexapro, Lamicatl, Lithium, Xanax.”

The doctor said an anti-psychotic might help me
forget what the trauma said.

The trauma said, “Don’t write these poems.
Nobody wants to hear you cry
about the grief inside your bones.”

But my bones said, “Tyler Clementi jumped
from the George Washington Bridge
into the Hudson River convinced
he was entirely alone.”

My bones said, “Write the poems.”
Andrea Gibson, The Madness Vase

Kristin Cashore
“I'd thought once, actually, of taking your mind, if you asked. I'd thought I could help you fall asleep at night."
He opened his mouth to say something. Shut it again. His face closed for a moment, his unreadable mask falling into place. He spoke softly. "But that wouldn't be fair; for after I slept you'd be left awake, with no one to help you sleep.”
Kristin Cashore, Fire

Oprah Winfrey
“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.”
Oprah Winfrey

Andrea Gibson
“The trauma said, ‘Don’t write these poems.
Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones.”
Andrea Gibson, The Madness Vase

Elie Wiesel
“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
Elie Wiesel

Sherman Alexie
“There are all kinds of addicts, I guess. We all have pain. And we all look for ways to make the pain go away.”
Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Judith Lewis Herman
“The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

“Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.” (p.97)”
Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Han Kang
“The feeling that she had never really lived in this world caught her by surprise. It was a fact. She had never lived. Even as a child, as far back as she could remember, she had done nothing but endure. She had believed in her own inherent goodness, her humanity, and lived accordingly, never causing anyone harm. Her devotion to doing things the right way had been unflagging, all her successes had depended on it, and she would have gone on like that indefinitely. She didn't understand why, but faced with those decaying buildings and straggling grasses, she was nothing but a child who had never lived.”
Han Kang, The Vegetarian

Khaled Hosseini
“I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.”
Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Camille Paglia
“We cannot have a world where everyone is a victim. "I'm this way because my father made me this way. I'm this way because my husband made me this way." Yes, we are indeed formed by traumas that happen to us. But then you must take charge, you must take over, you are responsible.”
Camille Paglia

Danielle Bernock
“Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. When someone enters the pain and hears the screams healing can begin.”
Danielle Bernock, Emerging With Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, And The LOVE that Heals

Susan Pease Banitt
“PTSD is a whole-body tragedy, an integral human event of enormous proportions with massive repercussions.”
Susan Pease Banitt

Judith Lewis Herman
“Over time as most people fail the survivor's exacting test of trustworthiness, she tends to withdraw from relationships. The isolation of the survivor thus persists even after she is free.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Joyce Meyer
“God wants you to be delivered from what you have done and from what has been done to you - Both are equally imporant to Him.”
Joyce Meyer, Beauty for Ashes: Receiving Emotional Healing

Ruta Sepetys
“Killers aren't always assassins. Sometimes, they don't even have blood on their hands.”
Ruta Sepetys, Salt to the Sea

“BEFRIENDING THE BODY

Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. Being frightened means that you live in a body that is always on guard. Angry people live in angry bodies. The bodies of child-abuse victims are tense and defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe. In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.

In my practice I begin the process by helping my patients to first notice and then describe the feelings in their bodies—not emotions such as anger or anxiety or fear but the physical sensations beneath the emotions: pressure, heat, muscular tension, tingling, caving in, feeling hollow, and so on. I also work on identifying the sensations associated with relaxation or pleasure. I help them become aware of their breath, their gestures and movements.

All too often, however, drugs such as Abilify, Zyprexa, and Seroquel, are prescribed instead of teaching people the skills to deal with such distressing physical reactions. Of course, medications only blunt sensations and do nothing to resolve them or transform them from toxic agents into allies.

The mind needs to be reeducated to feel physical sensations, and the body needs to be helped to tolerate and enjoy the comforts of touch. Individuals who lack emotional awareness are able, with practice, to connect their physical sensations to psychological events. Then they can slowly reconnect with themselves.”
Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Arthur Golden
“After all, when a stone is dropped into a pond, the water continues quivering even after the stone has sunk to the bottom.”
Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

S. Kelley Harrell, M. Div.
“We don't heal in isolation, but in community.”
S. Kelley Harrell, Gift of the Dreamtime - Reader's Companion

Sandra Lee Dennis
“Attitude Is Everything

We live in a culture that is blind to betrayal and intolerant of emotional pain. In New Age crowds here on the West Coast, where your attitude is considered the sole determinant of the impact an event has on you, it gets even worse.In these New Thought circles, no matter what happens to you, it is assumed that you have created your own reality. Not only have you chosen the event, no matter how horrible, for your personal growth. You also chose how you interpret what happened—as if there are no interpersonal facts, only interpretations.

The upshot of this perspective is that your suffering would vanish if only you adopted a more evolved perspective and stopped feeling aggrieved. I was often kindly reminded (and believed it myself), “there are no victims.” How can you be a victim when you are responsible for your circumstances?

When you most need validation and support to get through the worst pain of your life, to be confronted with the well-meaning, but quasi-religious fervor of these insidious half-truths can be deeply demoralizing. This kind of advice feeds guilt and shame, inhibits grieving, encourages grandiosity and can drive you to be alone to shield your vulnerability.”
Sandra Lee Dennis

“The brain-disease model overlooks four fundamental truths: (1) our capacity to destroy one another is matched by our capacity to heal one another. Restoring relationships and community is central to restoring well-being; (2) language gives us the power to change ourselves and others by communicating our experiences, helping us to define what we know, and finding a common sense of meaning; (3) we have the ability to regulate our own physiology, including some of the so-called involuntary functions of the body and brain, through such basic activities as breathing, moving, and touching; and (4) we can change social conditions to create environments in which children and adults can feel safe and where they can thrive.

When we ignore these quintessential dimensions of humanity, we deprive people of ways to heal from trauma and restore their autonomy. Being a patient, rather than a participant in one’s healing process, separates suffering people from their community and alienates them from an inner sense of self.”
Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

“Unlike other forms of psychological disorders, the core issue in trauma is reality.”
Bessel A. van der Kolk, Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society

Nathaniel Branden
“The greater a child’s terror, and the earlier it is experienced, the harder it becomes to develop a strong and healthy sense of self.”
Nathaniel Branden, Six Pillars of Self-Esteem

Peter A. Levine
“In response to threat and injury, animals, including humans, execute biologically based, non-conscious action patterns that prepare them to meet the threat and defend themselves. The very structure of trauma, including activation, dissociation and freezing are based on the evolution of survival behaviors. When threatened or injured, all animals draw from a "library" of possible responses. We orient, dodge, duck, stiffen, brace, retract, fight, flee, freeze, collapse, etc. All of these coordinated responses are somatically based- they are things that the body does to protect and defend itself. It is when these orienting and defending responses are overwhelmed that we see trauma.

The bodies of traumatized people portray "snapshots" of their unsuccessful attempts to defend themselves in the face of threat and injury. Trauma is a highly activated incomplete biological response to threat, frozen in time. For example, when we prepare to fight or to flee, muscles throughout our entire body are tensed in specific patterns of high energy readiness. When we are unable to complete the appropriate actions, we fail to discharge the tremendous energy generated by our survival preparations. This energy becomes fixed in specific patterns of neuromuscular readiness. The person then stays in a state of acute and then chronic arousal and dysfunction in the central nervous system. Traumatized people are not suffering from a disease in the normal sense of the word- they have become stuck in an aroused state. It is difficult if not impossible to function normally under these circumstances.”
Peter A. Levine

Jessica Stern
“Some people's lives seem to flow in a narrative; mine had many stops and starts. That's what trauma does. It interrupts the plot. You can't process it because it doesn't fit with what came before or what comes afterward. A friend of mine, a soldier, put it this way. In most of our lives, most of the time, you have a sense of what is to come. There is a steady narrative, a feeling of "lights, camera, action" when big events are imminent. But trauma isn't like that. It just happens, and then life goes on. No one prepares you for it.”
Jessica Stern, Denial: A Memoir of Terror

“Beneath the surface of the protective parts of trauma survivors there exists an undamaged essence, a Self that is confident, curious, and calm, a Self that has been sheltered from destruction by the various protectors that have emerged in their efforts to ensure survival. Once those protectors trust that it is safe to separate, the Self will spontaneously emerge, and the parts can be enlisted in the healing process”
Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Katie McGarry
“There are edges around the black and every now and then a flash of color streaks out of the gray. But I can never really grasp any of the slivers of memories that emerge.”
Katie McGarry, Pushing the Limits

Judith Lewis Herman
“...repeated trauma in childhood forms and deforms the personality. The child trapped in an abusive environment is faced with formidable tasks of adaptation. She must find a way to preserve a sense of trust in people who are untrustworthy, safety in a situation that is unsafe, control in a situation that is terrifyingly unpredictable, power in a situation of helplessness. Unable to care for or protect herself, she must compensate for the failures of adult care and protection with the only means at her disposal, an immature system of psychological defenses.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

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