As published in August edition of MumprenuerMovementMagazine
I once thought trauma was a dirty word.
Let me assure you trauma isn’t easy, especially with an inflexible mindset that is fear-based. There’s a scale of trauma that we all experience on some level.
At the most basic level, there is the trauma of the juggle for the busy working mother. There’s the trauma of the hustle of wearing all the hats of the small business operator. Constantly juggling a myriad of tasks that we aren’t always an expert in.
There’s the trauma of often being the family balancer for others. This often equates to meeting the key selection criteria for employment as a UN hostage negotiator.
Working for yourself gifts you the spectrum of experiences, the roller coaster of highs and lows and hopefully a smile that at the end of the financial year when you’ve been successful.
The trauma of a cancer diagnosis is also right up there on the Richter scale of stress because it immediately invokes fear of dying, fear of missing out, and even death of your expectations of how you thought your life would pan out. And then there is the trauma of being entrapped within a dysfunctional mammogram biopsy machine for over an hour with failed pain relief.
Here’s the thing, I found the gift in that experience as well, and have been able to invoke change for us all moving forward.
The short version of this horrific story was the mammogram biopsy machine experienced a glitch with me in it. The pain relief provided didn’t work and I was stuck in the machine for over an hour. Not a great experience and please let me assure you that due to my subsequent complaint that should never happen again – for anyone.
I wrote my complaint to the imaging facility, as a mini gap analysis report. This enabled the service to easily identify areas that could be rapidly changed like forms and procedures. And it identified opportunities for missing trauma-informed care. The gift of my entrapment experience, based on the outcome of my dialogue, correspondence, complaint and mediation is this- all Victorian-based breast screening services are now undertaken by trauma-informed trained staff accompanied by corresponding procedures and systems.
Trauma-informed training has been implemented not just at my local breast screening service, but every single screen facility across Victoria. Recommendations have been made for this new trauma-informed practice to be rolled out nationally.
Healing the post traumatic stress that came with this entrapment gifted me with the realisation that my biggest ally is my inner self. That child that whilst she felt broken, I used my tools to uncover a depth of resilience. Sometimes when we embrace that inner child and step up to be the adult and parent her, to guide her along the path, we connect with our own innate wisdom. We activate our own magic medicine. We become our own healers. This is the treasure of the trauma.
Karen Humphries is a Kinesiology Practitioner, Health & Business Coach, LEAP & NES Practitioner, and self-confessed laughaholic. She is an avid Breast Cancer Advocate residing in Gippsland Victoria Australia. She loves being of service to the world with her humorous and positive approach to life, encouraging people to ‘choose to change and bloom from within.’