Words of Hope: Mapping out Trauma Triggers

Trauma triggers happen when you have had something difficult happen in your life–for example, a car wreck. For many who have experienced a very serious car wreck, just being behind the wheel can cause the terror of that experience to resurface. Shann researches trauma and genocide around the world. What’s difficult to fathom is that the trauma that someone endures may resurface even into their third and fourth generation after it occurs. Many second and third generations experience deep anxiety or sorrow, and they don’t know why. That’s why our history is so important to know and understand. One of Shann’s Ph.D. students, Dr. Robbie Paul, has done incredible research on the trauma from Native American families who lost children or experienced abuse in boarding schools. She has mapped out the timelines in her generational line, starting with the Battle of the Big Hole massacre up to the present day, and can show a cyclical pattern of depression, despair, suicidality, and suffering, which corresponds to the month and timeline of the generational traumas. Dad understood this and worked to recognize this in his life. I just now looked up when his mom, Kathleen, died. I should have known this. It took my breath away when I saw that she died in August. Her burial date was August 26, so my dad must have died very near to the day his mom died. I wish I would have paid more attention to my Dad’s days of suffering. I will need to talk with mom and know our history more in-depth to map my own generational pain and trauma story.

Proverbs 4: 20
My son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Let them not escape from your sight;
keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
and healing to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.

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