Writing Through Trauma is a website, blog and eventually a YouTube Channel dedicated to expanding awareness on how, and through what means, individuals can grow from, rather than be inhibited by, childhood trauma. Specifically, I’m devoting this time and space to adult survivors of complex childhood trauma and how writing fiction and other health and well being strategies can assist in post-traumatic growth. In time I will elaborate on the effects of childhood sexual, physical, emotional, economical and psychological abuse. By illuminating how these effects come to surface and interfere with adult life I will also impart coping strategies that worked for me while I underwent processing complex trauma by creatively writing through it.
For a long time I felt alienated, ashamed, afraid, worthless and lost so it is my hope that the content I produce can be of some assistance to those experiencing something similar as well as to those close to others who are. For an adult survivor to effectively confront and manage the ongoing struggles frustrating one’s ability to stay present in daily life and function is incredibly challenging but I think there’s a point at which we know that it’s actually much harder to continue as we are. Even though we might not know what needs to be done in order to initiate positive change, we know that there has to be a better way to live.
Throughout the years of persisting until I found what worked for me my love of learning and writing became a lifeline. This informed the PhD I recently completed in Creative Writing. It investigates the therapeutic value of reading and writing trauma fiction. My particular focus was on answering: How and why fiction can assist in the Post-Traumatic Growth process? It is precisely what I experienced but I felt compelled to understand why it worked when so many other things I’d tried hadn’t. Currently I’m in the final stages of refining my novel, ‘Warrior’ for publication. It is an adult survivor of childhood trauma coming of age story, part of which made up my PhD. My Practice-Led Research findings supported my hypothesis that fiction writing alongside therapy is a challenging but empowering and safe way to process traumatic experience, so that the survivor may go onto have a life and story outside trauma and enjoy what it means to live, love, be loved and grow. An adult survivor need not be determined by their traumatic past if adequate awareness can be gained alongside a willingness to take action and persist.
I’d like to both welcome and invite you to leave comments or email on any particular topics or areas you have questions in or would like me to focus on in blog posts. It is my intention to begin interviewing and to guest feature the writings of other trauma fiction writers and mental health professionals who specialize in this area in the near future.
A cursory question I leave you with is: What is your story? Not necessarily your autobiographical story, but one you would like to tell? Or what story have you read or watched that deeply resonated with you?
The story I had inside me when I first started my journey into post-traumatic growth was, ‘Warrior’ and the novel that resonated with and inspired me was ‘In Perfect Light’ by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.