Across the human experience, trauma is a common occurrence that affects all people, no matter the skin color. It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white or pink. Trauma distorts life and hinders one's capacity to experience freedom, and it's something that is experienced by both the so-called oppressor and the so-called oppressed. In this article, we'll explore the ways that trauma impacts the black experience, the white experience, and the American experience as a whole.
Chloe, I profoundly appreciate your insight, wisdom, courage, clarity, boldness, and vision. Words cannot express my respect and gratitude for how you integrate and articulate values I hold dear in such loving, strong, psychoactive ways. I see your work as crucial medicine for our society and for us as individuals. How can I help beyond supporting this Substack? I have copy editing and admin skills that I would love to contribute to the cause, or to you personally, Chloe, so you can be more free to pursue and embody your work. Thank you for this marvelous post, and so many others, and your podcast, and ToE, and everything else. 💜
I've just begun to read a book, "The Ethics of Beauty" by Orthodox Christian Timothy Patitsas. I picked it up thinking it was about the theological basis of Christian ethics, probably something along the line of the theology of von Balthasar. To my surprise, in the preface the author describes his concern for trauma victims as the "very center and heart of this book." I am not going to recommend a book I have not even half finished but it does look promising. Early on he writes about "moral injury" which is a subject that caught my interest several years ago when an old friend, who was an AME Zion preacher and also a professor at Vanderbilt Divinity School, recommended that I explore the literature on the topic. Dale had just begun to work with this concept in his writing when he unfortunately developed an illness that took his life far too soon. In any event it has seemed like a fruitful concept, especially but not exclusively in the context of the trauma of war. Also interesting to me is that this Patitsas book early on decries common approaches of therapy to trauma. This jumped out at me, as another old friend from way-back-when had just a few years ago told me about research he had done in Israel on the sleep patterns of holocaust survivors--those who had adjusted and had been able to build lives in Israel, with jobs, families etc--and those who had been so fractured by trauma that were incapacitated. The interesting finding was that the survivors who were able to adjust had abnormal dream patterns. They either suppressed dreams or did not remember them. Revisiting trauma is a delicate matter and may be something to be avoided. A very different approach may be warranted. Anyway, that friend--Peretz--had planted in my mind the idea as well that we have some fundamental misunderstandings in our broad perception of how the world and how human nature works and what is the very nature of "healing." I am looking forward to finishing the Patitsas book as it looks as if he is trying to deal with these issues. In any event, I thank you for another well written essay on an important topic.