Published on September 1st, 2013 | by Becky Castle Miller
Letter from the Editor
You are the main character, the protagonist, in your life story. And your story may have chapters of upheaval, of trauma.
Trauma can be big or small, loud or quiet, stunningly fast or achingly long and slow. One-time or repeated. All of the above.
1. A serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident.
2. An emotional wound or shock that creates substantial, lasting damage to the psychological development of a person, often leading to neurosis.
3. An event or situation that causes great distress and disruption.
Trauma can come in many forms—abuse, accident, betrayal, bullying, catastrophic event—and that’s just the beginning of the alphabet.
The repercussions of trauma can hit you at once or take years to surface. You can have major symptoms or none; some or all.
Trauma affects different people differently. Two people can experience the same trauma and respond oppositely. (Wikipedia: Psychological Trauma)
In your story, you are a character, and “Characters don’t want to change,” according to author Donald Miller. In fiction, an “inciting incident” is the event that kicks off a story. It’s the moment that forever alters the main character’s life.
“An inciting incident is the event in a movie that causes upheaval in the protagonist’s life,” Miller says. “The protagonist, then, naturally seeks to return to stability. And in order to do that, he HAS to solve his new problem. … Characters don’t change without being forced to change.”
Trauma is tragic. It shouldn’t happen. But it does, and it has, for many of us.
Our goal for this issue of Wyn Magazine is to help you navigate your story after the inciting incident happens. To give you companions and guides through your story. To walk with you through the enforced change in your life.
Associate Editor Amy Jane Helmericks says in her upcoming article “Ten Tasks of Healing Trauma”:
It is important to know we are not alone, and we don’t have to go through life (healthy or broken) taking care of ourselves by ourselves. The reality is that Healing From Trauma is an enormous task. It is not something most people do “over a weekend” and move on with life. You were changed by the source of the trauma that permeates your being. Healing will change you as well.
We want to give you hope that trauma is not the end of your story. Rather, it is the inciting incident that can propel you into better chapters and spur you on toward a satisfying resolution.
Cover image for this issue by Kiran Foster through a Creative Commons license.
Image for this article by Zsuzsanna Kilian via Stock.Xchng.