Trauma – Day 27

Dare to Tell – Day 27

Ann’s Story


I had received a telegram to my home, they promised that if we proceeded with the convention, it would be bombed.  My company decided that it was an empty threat.  They decided to send me there with a bodyguard.

I had completed a law degree and was working as a management consultant; an intense, high powered job travelling around the world.  This project was based in Manila.  We were consulting with the Marcos regime and travel companies, with the aim to present Manila as a safe tourist destination.

I know now that I was concerned about going; I was frightened by the threat.  The company however, was not going to be deterred by a mere terrorist threat; a threat which turned out to be far from ’empty’.  The bomb rocked the convention center, 11 people were hurt.  It was very scary, I was lucky to get out alive.

When I came home I was further shaken to find that my house had been burgled.  It was empty, only the couch, table and bed were left behind.  Everything was gone.  I called the police the moment I arrived.   The cop, that came over to check the place and make out a report, raped me.

Any time I’ve made a change in life there has been a powerful negative source that thrusts me out of wherever I am.  Ultimately it puts me in a beautiful spot but I wonder how I can learn to erase the negatives.  I seem to need them in order to transition.

Is this how everyone changes?

I quit my job, I was so mad at my boss and the situation, and I left the city.

I moved to the countryside and married a man I had met at a seminar.  I lived there for 10 wonderful years.  I might have stayed there longer, if I had not had the next trauma.

One day he told me he was moving to Florida.  He was having an affair and had decided to move there.  I could come if I wanted to.  So, I followed him and ended up in Florida with no support system and a 5 year old son.  We got divorced and I decided to go back to law.  I started my own practice dealing with a lot of family law, especially divorce law.  After a while, I really wanted to get out of it.  In fact, I prayed to god every day, “get me out of here… get me the fuck out of here.”

You have to be careful what you pray for. A surgical procedure left me with some serious problems that meant I could no longer practice law.  I had to switch professions.  That’s when I started studying and became a Rabbi.

It’s a wonderful job for someone who likes to study.   I became very passionate about spirituality and magic.  I worked at the synagogue for 5 years until someone I trusted betrayed me.  I thought he was a supporter but they began looking for a new rabbi without telling me there were any concerns about my performance.

The truth is, I was ready to move on but somehow unable to do so without some kind of trauma.

When I look at my story, I wonder if I have to have heartbreaks in order to have beauty open to me.  I know there will be other chapters.  Can’t I move from beauty to beauty without the trauma?

I became a trauma chaplain and I love it.  I define trauma as the experience when your coping senses are overwhelmed and you have to recreate a different way of viewing something.  You need to restructure your life when what you did previously can no longer support you.  This is what I help people do in the hospital.  Somehow there has to be a way to cope, to find meaning after a difficult event.  Everyone needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning, we need some kind of passion.

Maybe I need to bring it on in some sort of way, to create the trauma in order to find the courage to take the next step.

We do create our reality by the things we think about, the things we manifest.

Perhaps I have to make something I’m not happy about much worse in order to be able to leave.

We can manifest all kinds of things.  If I can manifest success, how do I know I don’t manifest the other stuff.  You either manifest or you don’t.

I’m interested in Trauma.  It’s so subjective.  I think of the patient who is overwhelmed by the trauma of his cut hand and the other patient overwhelmed by the life-supporting machines that help him breathe and make his heartbeat.  How can you compare?

Trauma can sometimes be called drama.  I’m beginning to see how my trauma and my drama have weaved through my story.


– With thanks to Ann White, Trauma Chaplain 

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5 comments on “Trauma – Day 27

  1. Wow, Ann! What a powerful story. I know that all took place over a lot of years, but when you condense it all down and put the highlights onto one page, your "trauma" has a new perspective. Thank you for sharing your story of "how" you managed to get to where you are now with a little boost from traumatic events. And thanks to Lisa for telling it for you so we can see the dynamite you are made of. Blessings to you.

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