• Mr. C.

When “Freddy Krueger-ed” by Trauma, Write. Write!

Updated: Apr 12


Trauma. Just about everyone has had their share of it, whether it be in the form of abuse, grief, or a devastating event where we felt helpless.


As a kid, as an adult, I’ve experienced several incidents of trauma in my life. I told a friend this once, and he remarked to me that I didn’t really have anything that met the criteria for trauma (paraphrasing him here, but yeah).


Has anyone ever said this to you?


But trauma is subjective. Something that my friend Jimmie handled very well emotionally might mentally cripple Carey, another friend of mine, and vice-versa. We all process trauma differently.






My trauma normally comes to me in my dreams, like in a recurring version of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” I tend to dream about the same traumas over and over again. And just as Freddy Krueger terrorizes his victims, when I wake up, I’m maligned with fear, depression, and anxiety that sometimes affects my entire day.


Some of these traumas are unspeakable; some are less severe, but still razor-close to my heart and inner desires. Some are twisted, collaging together different people and situations into a nightmare-ed kaleidoscope for ol’ Mr. Krueger to peer into.


How do we carry on with life in light of our “Kruegers”? I try to find things that take my mind off of the nightmare I had the night before. For me, walking really helps. Positive self-talk also helps me process.


How do you manage your trauma?




Writing is very cathartic as well. I find that if I am able to write about the nightmare, I am in a sense, turning something ugly into art, even if it is a haunting piece of art. Yet, I also feel as though I am sharing a piece of myself with the reader and allowing them to identify it with their own trauma and, in turn, hopefully helping them processing theirs as I did mine.


Below is a poem that I have yet to read aloud to anyone. In fact, this is the first time it’s been on social media. This was probably one of the worst nightmares I’ve ever experienced, and it isn’t the first time I dreamed about this event. I remember vividly the morning before I wrote this. I was driving to the hospital to get medical records for an injury I had incurred. This dream ruminated in my mind the whole time, and as I drove around running my errands, I composed this poem in my head, literally pulling over to take notes on what I coming up with. It’s a part of my new book project, and I hope you can identify with it in some way and make some peace of it all.


Because that “Freddy Krueger” is a bad man!



Fingerprint


In this dream, I’m 10 years old again,

lying next to my grandmother, the person in a position of trust.

I’m on her left,

naked.

Her body budges, shunting the covers,

speaking in confessions, voyeuristic phrases,

the avatar of her hand,

obtund, jaundiced with Formaldehyde

cocoons my private part

while I lie there in a state of inertia

she continues adjusting

boob-ing into my back.

She clucks in my ear, “You’re my affliction.”

I’m sandwiched by phallic flies

every one, an itch infidel of fault,

as she sprouts seven tongues

from her sides

acting as arms,

each one tarantula-ing me,

criminalizing my body,

as they lather

on my soul’s skin.

Her abdomen opens, to swallow me

like a piece of candy

sugared to a wrapper, gungy,

encumbering me to her gravity.

I’m reaching through the walls,

screaming through my dream,

Daddy! Daddy!


I’m in the outside now,

an epilogue of panic.

The reuptake and antagonism of neurotransmitters

as I rinse through the puddle of the prescription pills

that have become my own pretty fiction,

that the haunt and the harm

can be comic stripped

ornamenting my least restrictive impairment,

a false pathology adjunct to her carnal denervation.

She is no longer ash in the “sinus of God” to me

She is a lesson

panhandling paraphernalia for an appetite

that someday the little-boy me who woke up in the middle of the night

with enuresis soaking my Superman PJ’s

will index the cold whispers’ say,

You are not your trauma;

You are not your disabilities.

Purpose yourself.

The cogent argument that every injury, every recovery

is unique

like a fingerprint

of assimilating the white noise of her middle-night touch

to my nail-biting,

hand-to-mouth addiction

of hope.




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