Can’t we just ignore or run away from our trauma?
I tried! I quit my whole other life. Fledged my young adult children, sold and gave away my stuff, fixed up the house, sold it out a major loss, and went off to live my lifelong dream of sailing tall ships.
It was fabulous for about two and a half years. I sailed over 7,000 MI aboard a of vessels large and small, and voyaged on the ocean for as long as 12 days.
But the trauma caught up with me. My symptoms became unmanageable. Shipboard life makes heavy physical demands and I could no longer handle the pain.
I decided to get a small apartment and sail part-time instead of live-aboard. I settled in Delaware to be near “me beautiful and magical ship,” KALMAR NYCKEL, a recreation of a 17th-century armed merchant vessel from Sweden.
My Delaware residency made me eligible for mental health insurance for the first time. I thought it meant I would finally have access to consistent help with recovery from severe Complex PTSD.
But the moment I walked into the facility operated by the mega-hospital I was sucked into a trauma machine! They put me on a Black Box medication, did not follow the recommended safety protocol, ignored my complaints that the Lexapro was giving me SI, and neglected to refer me to a provider who could offer the appropriate level of care.
Thanks to the “standard treatment,” which ignores the neurobiology of trauma in favor of supporting Big Pharma, in 5 weeks I went from being distressed to experiencing intense suicidal ideations. Delaware has no Before Stage 4 mechanism so I was funneled to the psych ER and from there to the Cuckoo’s Nest. I spent 8 medically unnecessary days and nights being warehoused, drugged, and retraumatized.
Since then the so-called healthcare system has destroyed my health so much I can never crew aboard a tall ship again. So here I am, digging my way out by learning the neurobiology of trauma, applying it to build a healing framework for myself, and hoping to help others find their way more easily.
Yes, running away from our trauma can be wonderful! But it doesn’t resolve the trauma.