Trauma and Recovery

In today's class, we talked about the traumatic memories of someone who lived a wartime childhood in England. The story of Penny and Primrose is the story of different adaptations to traumatic events. The "thing" they witnessed in the forest is the combination of many things: it is historical terror; it is death; it is an embodiment of pain and of misery. Like traumatized people, Penny and Primrose were haunted by the horrible creature they had witnessed in the woods and found it difficult to find a language that conveys fully and persuasively what they had seen. Penny grew up to become a child psychologist, while Primrose became a storyteller who entertained children at kindergartens and shopping malls. They represent the different ways peopel dealing with trauma. Primrose used the act of storytelling as part of her healing process. For her, "sharing is solace" (42)--in other words, telling stories is an act of sharing which can create a sense of community. Storytelling can assuage pain. However, for Penny, "sharing" is not solace. She prefers approaching truma solitarily; she chooses to re-enter the woods to confront the source of the terror and to relive the event.

Here comes the question. Horrible events refuse to be buried. What would you do to cope with trauma if you were in their situation? What if you were in their shoes?