In the history of humanity we have not seen such a growth in the knowledge surrounding how our brain works than now. And that makes me very excited because the more we know about how our brain works the better we will be able to help people, who have experienced trauma, heal. The truth of trauma is not pretty but only by recognizing the problem can we begin to remedy the problem.
A Harvard Medical Study found that former foster children experienced PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) at nearly two times the rate of U.S. war veterans. This information is not nearly new as it was released back in 2005 but unfortunately we have not taken it as seriously as we should. We know the horrors of war because they are placed in front of us by the media and politicians. Nearly everyone has a stance on how America should handle foreign affairs but where is this passion and energy when it comes to the invisible children of foster care? We know that PTSD can be debilitating, it can consume you and destroy any hope of a life of normalcy or peace.
So we know the statistic and we know it is a problem that needs addressed. This is where our advancement in neurological studies can help us. First off we need good families willing to get involved in Foster Care and make a difference, it won’t be easy, or fun, but it is the right thing to do and that should be enough. Next we need to let children who have been through trauma tell their story! As a former foster child and adopted child WE MUST TELL OUR STORY!
In his book “Anatomy of the Soul”, Curt Thompson, brings to light some very interesting facts concerning how we can change the way our brain recalls trauma. One way to change the way we remember traumatic events in our life is to tell your story. It’s not easy and it gets tougher before it gets better but the only way out it through. Telling your story to a person who is responsive and gives assurance that you will make it through is very important and it actually changes the neural pathways that enable your brain to remember the trauma. No longer will you attach all of the horrible feelings that are associated with your trauma, instead you will be able to talk about your past peacefully.
What this means is that we can help just by listening. We can actually help someone heal by talking life through with them. So the next time a child who has been exposed to trauma talks to you, give them your undivided attention and be present. Put your phone down, put your concerns aside and help them through because the enemy is here to steal, kill and destroy but we know that “a friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.”