Laini Taylor’s Muse of Nightmares
I recently read Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares, which were simply beautiful and had many insightful things to say about trauma.
In the second book, she writes, “If something was simply unbearable, it put up a wall around it, or buried it in a tomb. She had seen horrors hidden in a biscuit tin and planted under a seedling so the roots would grow around it and hold it fast. The mind is good at hiding things, but there’s something it cannot do: It can’t erase. It can only conceal, and concealed things are not gone. They rot. They fester, they leak poisons. They ache and stink. They hiss like serpents in tall grass.”
This speaks beautifully to how our psyches deal with painful or traumatic experiences at times. If the experience is so painful that it overwhelms our ability to deal with it we may try to wall it away.
If we do not have people who will listen to our stories and help us hold or process the pain, we may feel the need to bury both the memory and the pain.
But that pain is not gone, and as she says, that pain festers and aches until it is dealt with. That is why toxic positivity is toxic, because it tries to deny the reality of pain and suffering and gloss over it with a “good vibes only” bumper sticker.
We can’t erase what has happened, although we may be able to put off dealing with it, it will continue to affect us and our lives until it is brought out into the light and dealt with.
EMDR therapy can be a powerful tool in this healing process. It is my tools of choice, but certainly not the only one. Community and loving others can offer much healing. Theraputic modalities that attend to the body are important.