The Social Dimension of Trauma

in #society26 days ago (edited)


The above image was made with stable diffusion using the prompt 'glowing wires in a brain.'

Some people grow up in stable environments and go on to lead normal lives. I'm not one of these people. My upbringing was twisted by abuses at the hands of prominent community members. Then my twenties and thirties were largely consumed by chronic illnesses. Part of how I processed these challenges was by writing about them in Navigating Dystopia. I also appeared on a podcast about the misdeeds of my childhood mentor.

These days, as a man in my forties, the difficulties of my formative years usually feel far away. My years of illness feel somewhat closer, but only because they happened more recently. These unhappy elements of my personal history will probably never entirely go away. But they have become quieter over time.

In their place, I've found more and more motivation to shine light into the world's darkest corners. International pedophile networks. Mind control programs. Medical malfeasance. Food system corruption. My personal experience with these things makes me absolutely relentless in researching and talking about them.

There are moments when my past comes up unexpectedly. I'll feel a little too strongly about something or encounter triggering material in the environment. New trauma can also bring up old trauma as new feelings resonate with old ones. Laying these to rest is never a final thing. It must be done again and again.

In the brain, memories are stored as maps of associations, and experiences are encoded to a depth corresponding with the intensity of the experience. Traumatic memories can be deeply encoded and connected to all kinds of other stuff. Over time, the brain can be rewired to give progressively less power to the trauma. New associations replace old associations and bad memories are made to fade.

In the course of healing my own wounds, I became acutely aware of how many other people are walking around, burdened by unprocessed trauma. Millions of people. Maybe tens of millions. Maybe more.

Every personal trauma has a social dimension that's rarely talked about. And some healing requires a community context which typically doesn't exist in our society. In my situation, social reality has more often hindered my healing than aided it. Economically and politically, distress is more profitable than wellness.

People in distress are fearful. They obey authority. People who are hurting buy goods and services in hopes of feeling better. And unprocessed trauma is weaponized by the control regime in a variety of ways. How different would the world look if more of us were healed?

Read my novels:

See my NFTs:

  • Small Gods of Time Travel is a 41 piece Tezos NFT collection on Objkt that goes with my book by the same name.
  • History and the Machine is a 20 piece Tezos NFT collection on Objkt based on my series of oil paintings of interesting people from history.
  • Artifacts of Mind Control is a 15 piece Tezos NFT collection on Objkt based on declassified CIA documents from the MKULTRA program.

Everyone has a trauma in one way or the other. Even the person who we may think is the happiest on earth has his or her too.
I'm just happy for you that you are a wonderful person despite the way you grew up.
The past has affected so many people but I'm happy that you were able to overcome yours

Thanks. It is true that you never know what a person has been through.

Powerful read. I love what Gabor Mate says about how trauma remains unprocessed in isolation and loneliness. As long as people are lonely, isolated, and disconnected from their bodies, those shaping our dysfunctional society will continue manipulating and controlling us.

A quote that comes up for me is that "It is only in relationship that anything becomes real." So my question is: how different would the world look if we healed the loneliness in our world? I'm imagining that this would change the very ways we heal from individual and collective trauma.

Also, here's a poem that I love that reminds me of the personal responsibility we have to find joy and purpose, despite what we've been through:

“It took me years to understand
that many of us are more afraid of happiness than misery.
Unhappiness becomes a security blanket,
a way to armor ourselves against deep feeling.
On the other hand, happiness has an intrinsically risky quality.
When we open our hearts to life,
we are always vulnerable to loss,
to shattering,
to having it all fall away.
But it can also expand and deepen,
joyfully permeating every element of our life.
Locking ourselves into a negative way of being is a self-fulfilling prophecy:
misery begets misery.
Only through risking something can we arrive at a new perspective.
And most significantly, because the rhythms and tides of one's life
can truly shift in the blink of an eye.
All it takes is one good day
and the whole damn thing can come back to light…”

  • Jeff Foster

Thanks. Good points about trauma and healing. And the poem is beautiful: )