My guess is that the dream I remember from last night was tied to the conversation I had with a friend at the laundromat cafe yesterday.  We were talking about ‘trauma drama’.  I was saying how I am so thankful that none of my children found their way into their adulthood without any need whatsoever to clutter up their lives with trauma dramas of any kind.

I am not at all sure how that happened.  While I sure didn’t abuse my children, I cannot say that the life I lived while I raised them was free of this kind of drama.  But somehow through all the ups and downs and ins and outs of my own travels from severely abused childhood into and through my adulthood, there must have been more stability than not.

But, then, I had my own unspoken goal as a parent — to raise my own children to know absolutely and fundamentally who they were as individuals – and to love their self.  Goal met.


My friend yesterday told me that she believes people who fill their lives with trauma drama do so because without it they would not feel alive.  She feels that trauma drama is the only way these people know to feel the activation of their own life force.  Without this drama, my friend suggests, many people would not FEEL as if they were alive at all.


Now, in my dream last night I was moving back into my home of origin along with both of my parents (who are dead in reality) and with all five of my siblings – who moved their own families in, as well.

There are many pictures from my childhood at this link:


Many pictures were damaged in a fire – but there are some pictures as you scroll down at this link

*1959 Homestead summer and winter

that show the canvas Jamesway we lived in.  It was into this same Jamesway that all my family moved into last night in my dream.

What seems important to me about the dream is that every member of my family except me had added onto the Jamesway.  They each had their own door into the main part of this canvas structure – and as they moved all their belongings through their own doorways I could see that all of them had a large and individualized addition – with plenty of room for everyone.

They all finished moving in, closed their respective doors — and there I was, the person who was targeted for such terrible abuse for the first 18 years of my original life as a child, left standing alone in the Jamesway – with nowhere to go.


As I thought about my dream today I also thought about my conversation yesterday with my friend.  I think in many, many critically important ways I came out of that abuse not having a single clue about who I am.  I went through my childhood not knowing who I was.

Maybe the trauma drama becomes central in many abuse survivors’ lives not so much because we don’t feel alive without it — but perhaps because we have no real clue about who we are as people – and the drama then becomes a sort of mirror within which we see ourselves – yes, as alive – but also as individual people who know no other way to survive.


I have very little drama in my life now.  I cannot stand it, have no tolerance for it, no patience for it, no need for it, no desire for it — not my own drama and not anyone else’s.

But did I ever create for myself the life I WANTED?  If I still don’t know who I am — which is for the most part a true statement – then I never did go off and build my OWN LIFE – my way, the way I wished it to be – as a clear reflection of who I am as a person.

At 60 years of age I still struggle with this.  I don’t think any of my three children have EVER even had such a thought.


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  1. i came across your blog as i was preparing notes for a series of classes about trauma. i wonder where you are now in your process. some people find it reassuring to know that the drama of the trauma is often part of the habitual adrenaline rush to which long-time trauma survivors often get addicted.
    after years of unwanted drama i got fed up with it and decided to consciously create a drama about the trauma. at the time, a lot of old stuff was being triggered by my need for dental work, (invasive), so i recruited a few friends and we created a musical called Teeth in which i was able to work through a lot of issues, identify and work thru feelings and then make people laugh and cry with me. it was very successful. in the process, i learned a lot about regulating my adrenaline responses and have had much less need for drama since then. I’m 70 now and have specialized in body centered trauma care for more than 10 years.
    hope you’re finding more ways to create the life that satisfies you, too. take care.

    • Hello and thanks for reading and for commenting! What an wonderful idea!! I once knew some people who healed neighborhoods of children by assisting them to articulate their experiences in their own dramas. It was very empowering to the young people, and very effective.

      Having co-participants and an audience would seem to me to be a vital part of the experience! Thank you for writing about this avenue toward healing the repeating consequences and patterns of trauma. Appreciated!!!

  2. A sad dream and so true of your experience wow. About trauma dramas – I agree with your friend – its like trauma was your reality so its all a person knows.
    I really am realising there is truth in what I’ve read that we are attracted to people and situations sometimes as unconscious ways of trying to resolve issues and traumas.
    I also don’t know my self – that self that never had a chance to develop cos we were dealing with so much else.

    Recently I’ve come up against the challenges of taking responsibility for myself and at the same time having compassion for self. These challenges require that I’m honest
    With self and therapist. This is a bit hard when I’m not sure of self yet but part of finding self!!
    This post has got me really thinking and I feel like I’d like to send you a hug for it and for how I’ve been
    Feeling lately during this time of tentatively finding some of myself and beginning to come to terms with
    What I can do/ find and what I can’t.

    Its a painful lifelong process I guess. I’m so glad that you are writing this book alchemynow and glad to get to know you
    Via your blog!

    Lots of hugs and I hope all who are out there have a good weekend..

    • I am preparing to go with a friend up to Tucson today (90 miles from here) – Seems my circle of events is now so small for the most part that I should be able to locate myself within it! So, more later, must get ready! Thanks for your words, Gingercat!! sending best wishes to you with love!!!

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