Trauma in the Countryside

Trigger Warnings: Symptoms of PTSD Described

A silence loudly awakened me.
The electricity went out.
The fan went off.
The clock went dark.
The air conditioning joined them.
Nightlights turned themselves off.

Country living at it’s best.
Almost asleep and every sound
in the house loudly clicked off.
The electricity went off again.
And my feelings joined it.

The electricity went off
and I became electric.
The fan stopped turning
and my mind began to spin.
The clock went dark
and my mind sent up flares.
The air conditioning joined them
and my mind created holes
big enough for air to condition.
Nightlights turned off
and I began to smother.

Left over from abuse
PTSD in fine form
overwhelming feelings.

We planned for this.
Planned and prepared
to take care of me
knowing how I am
about the dark, dark, dark.

Flashlights near every chair, check.
Battery operated candles, yep.
Flashlight on the iPhone, present.
Reading material in sync on all devices, done.
Small power source charged up.
Generator purchased and available.
Practical coping strategized to infinity.
Plans galore to care for my inner bruised child.

We forgot about my body.
The physical symptoms of PTSD
an exaggerated startle response
existing on alert
and scanning for danger.
Almost asleep and the
electricity went out.
My body became electrified
jumping at every thought
reacting to every sound
not conducive to sleep.

Self-soothing. That’s it.
That’s what I’ll do.
Breathe deeply all the way down
into my churning abdomen.
Talk to my inner child.
I’m safe. You are safe.
See the white light surrounding you.
Visualize the light.
Lots of healing, safe, protecting light.
Finally, I calmed my body down
slowly drifting into sleep.
Drifting, floating, relaxing, finding peace
and a sense of safety.


The electricity loudly turned itself back on.
I jumped when the fan came on.
I startled as the lights on the clock came back.
I was alarmed when the air conditioning came on.
And reacted as the nightlights turned on.
Country living at it’s best.
Almost asleep and every sound
in the house loudly clicked ON.

Contact me to discuss practical coping strategies:


Telephone: (615) 464-3791

©2017 by Laura Coleman, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

Painting, The Silence, by Henry Fuseli [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

2 thoughts on “Trauma in the Countryside

  1. Sending you a hug for this… I was triggered several times on my recent trip but instead of freezing in paralysis I just went quiet and walked away when I could.

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