The Healing Process of Trauma Writing

Writing about trauma isn't complete without the process of healing. The two go hand in hand together.-- That was the first thing my professor told us when we entered class that day. He sat us down with drinks and pizza. Explaining our midterms paper was writing about trauma. He told us to think about what tone we would like to write in, what message we would like to convey and reminded us that writing trauma should be a healing process. Not something that would agitate the wound and drive you into further misery.  When I started writing my piece, I didn't know how to start. I started talking about every grievance I had with my teachers in high school that I remembered. The memories started flooding in and before I realized it, I had five instances where I was let down by my previous teachers.  But what exactly was I writing about? What message did I want to tell my audience? Why did these memories resurface so easily?  So, I kept writing. I kept writing and let the words dance through my fingertips as I found my way out of the forest of trauma. I didn't vent, but recalled the moments and explored my feelings about the matter. I ask myself, why do I write, and what would I like to say? The more I write, the more I can see patterns of what those memories were trying to say. They all had a common theme of being underestimated and given up by my teachers and that I started feeling the need to prove myself to others. That led to my other conditions such as feelings of constant anxiety, and rumination. It made me realize that I was feeling ashamed of myself because I was conditioned to be ashamed by my former educators.   Because of that one simple exam, I started to untangle myself from the negative thoughts that constantly pervaded my mind. My soul cried for my younger self as I typed each word, screaming for justice for the undeserved self-hate I placed on myself.  But what was more magical is beyond the trauma I have started to untangle within myself, I was able to understand the perspective of my former educators too.  And it gave me the heart to forgive them. I grew up hating and treating myself harshly without knowing the reason why. What more when I have to put my own feet in another person's shoes? How can I understand them when I don't even understand myself?  I thank my professor for showing me the healing process of writing. He's a wonderful professor I was blessed to have. Through his activities, I realized that there are many things that we do not understand. Simple things that we know by theory but not by heart. It takes a while to explore our ideas and fully integrate lessons, empathy, and compassion into our perspectives. Writing is a way for me to connect to the parts of myself that I didn't know deep inside. To the tiny voices in my head that are dying to speak of the injustice they felt and the kindness and empathy waiting when you finally acknowledge. It is a beautiful inner art within people that often goes unnoticed. 

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Niki

Writer and Playwright

London, United Kingdom