Again, blogging is probably the last thing I should be doing right now, but I thought I would share a couple things… Besides, while I am staring at my paper on trauma on the left side of my screen, I can write a bit about this book that BLEW MY MIND!
The Empire of Trauma is like a historical critical athropological sociology book on how Western understanding of trauma has come about. Basically it persuades you to see trauma as something that wouldn’t exist without the claim of the victim. You can’t have trauma without being a victim. Until a person (veterans, women, and children) could “prove” some negative effect, or receive some understanding and empathy from someone who witnessed or experienced the same thing, that person’s “trauma” was illegitimate. The history or trauma is about legitimizing the claims of the tormented, violated, and marginalized.
Anyway, it blew my mind because it gave me a new lens to understand trauma. I just thought trauma was trauma, bad stuff happens, and its bad, and we all agree on it. But really trauma has always been in the eye of the beholder. Not to minimize it, but trauma is an experience, like any experience, that we have to somehow deal with or make meaning of (even if that is saying it is meaningless). The authors argue that psychologists kind of killed the survivor mentality of trauma, and created an empire of retributive justice seeking crazy people where pretty much ANYTHING can be trauma–and I want to be recognized and compensated for my trauma, cause, do you know what I went through?
Consequently, we have a lot of people walking around trying to prove who has the worst life. Welcome to The Empire of Trauma.
Point is: pain and suffering are real, but our lives do not have to end there, and for most of the world–it doesn’t. Go read or quickly skim the book–it will BLOW YOUR MIND! I am still not sure if I agree with everything, but it gave me another view of how societies interpret trauma and how that can carry over to the person… which I never really thought about.
Umm… about that paper…