Thank you for joining me and welcome to this month's edition of my Hope for Healing newsletter! I feel blessed to have you here with me. I welcome and appreciate feedback. Feel free to reach out via my website contact page or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org comments or questions.
I’ve been mulling this one over for a couple of weeks now . . . contents include Disney, gunfire, panic, death, triumphs, Jesus, and love.
When my mom fell and broke her femur, we were finishing up our vacation in Orlando, Florida. We had already purchased tickets for the following day at Magic Kingdom. As I sat stunned, contemplating my options, after receiving the news of her injury, I was frozen in fear. How could I possibly fly out of Orlando . . . alone? The mere thought of doing so caused a surge of overwhelming anxiety to rage through my system. The trauma recovery expert in me, virtual clipboard in hand, began checking off the “how to stay calm and re-regulate your system” boxes. Meanwhile, the trauma survivor, little Teri, was curling smaller and smaller into a ball in a corner, wanting nothing more than to hide away until it was safe to come out of that protective shell again.
I elected to finish the last day and a half of our vacation then travel to Cincinnati once we returned home to Hilton Head Island. That gave me a small reprieve to get my bearings. We took off to Magic Kingdom the following morning. I’d had so much fun at the previous theme parks we’d visited earlier in the week and Kennedy Space Center a few days prior, I thought nothing of heading off to Disney for another adventure. When we pulled into the parking lot, I felt the first surges of old panic patterns start to emerge. My eyes were scanning for cover. We were being directed to a wide-open parking area, trees lining the outskirts of the lot, a monorail cutting across the horizon just ahead of us. All I could think about was running for cover, even before leaving the safe confines of our vehicle. We stopped to ask the attendant if I could be dropped off closer, but he willfully ignored my pleas from the backseat and waved us on to pull on ahead to the next available spot in row too-wide-open-for-someone-teetering-at-the-edge-of-a-PTSD-breakdown.
As we parked, the surges became too much to corral any longer. I stepped out of the vehicle and my legs stopped functioning. My brain screamed for safety. My eyes darted about seeking cover. I was back in 1988 St. Bernard, Ohio, behind a bank, scrambling from gunshots, staring down the barrel of a Luger as it beckoned my lifeforce, trying to decide between death and death as I willed my one-thousand-pound legs to move. I chose possible death over imminent death and ran, as fast as cement legs can run, back toward the gunfire, or in real world time, to our parked car.
Podcast guest, Kathy Curtis, shares her blog from September 19, 2022 Your Word is Everything
by Kathy Curtis
As an expressive writing guide and healer, I think a lot about words, their meanings, the shapes of the letters that form them, and the way certain words cause a physical response within us.
Are there words you can’t handle seeing on a page, let alone, hearing? I have a few that make me cringe so much, I can’t even mention what they are!
It’s crazy how much power a single word has. I’ve worked with over 1500 people who followed my prompt to name a word that mattered most to them in that moment (or chapter) of their life, and the responses as I drew it for them were often unforgettable.
Too young to die
This all started the morning I walked into a 30-something patient’s room at a local hospital, needing to find a way to engage her in a literary way that would take her away from whatever pain and fears she might be feeling. When she told me she had been given one week to live, I knew writing a poem or doing anything that involved effort on her part would be out of the question.
She was frail and weak, but her eyes were absolutely glistening.
I think I had a God moment, because out of nowhere I asked what word mattered most to her in that moment, which she pondered as she looked deeply into my eyes. When she finally told me her word, I asked if I could draw it for her, and she nodded yes.
She raised her bed so she could watch me draw, and as I did, a peaceful feeling began to fill the room. Then I sensed a protective bubble form around us that blocked out all other sounds. She quietly spoke of her fears, her children, her grief over the shortness of her life. When I finished and held the drawing up for her to see, a beautiful light emanated from her and she asked if I’d hang it on the wall at the foot of her bed. She weakly grabbed my hand and held it for a long time.
* Added two more countries since last month's Hope for Healing Newsletter! Wow! Thank YOU for continuing to listen, like, comment, share, and invite others to join us for these inspirational conversations.