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Sitting in Starbucks Writing about Trauma

Heather Sargent is a freelance writer and mother who believes in the motivating power of coffee and deadlines. Her work has been published in various school journals and online. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College where she was an Associate Editor for The Pitkin Review and before that a BA in English Literature from Washington State University (go Cougs!). She can often be found at her desk alternating between reading, writing, and mimicking the sounds of Facebook games. Of the things she does well, knowing the day of the week is not one of them, but she always finds time for family and friends. Heather is most interested in hybrid writing and works spotlighting social justice issues as she believes them to be important for current and future generations.
Sitting in Starbucks Writing about Trauma Posted on August 7, 2019Leave a comment
Heather Sargent is a freelance writer and mother who believes in the motivating power of coffee and deadlines. Her work has been published in various school journals and online. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College where she was an Associate Editor for The Pitkin Review and before that a BA in English Literature from Washington State University (go Cougs!). She can often be found at her desk alternating between reading, writing, and mimicking the sounds of Facebook games. Of the things she does well, knowing the day of the week is not one of them, but she always finds time for family and friends. Heather is most interested in hybrid writing and works spotlighting social justice issues as she believes them to be important for current and future generations.

 

Sitting in Starbucks writing about trauma. What an ironic concept. I sit here waiting for my student to show up for tutoring and wonder if I can do it. Can I invite the darkness in, remember it for all ways it touched me and then turn around and pour myself into another person?

I’m always afraid to write about the night. If I do, then I open myself up to the possibility of not being able to come back from it. That is my biggest fear, I think. Not finding the way back.

My people know the events that haunt the shadows of my soul but they do not understand the depth of it. Like that saying if you look into the abyss for long enough it will look back at you. Right now I am looking into the abyss, I am trying to capture it on the page so I can share that with others who have a dark abyss and so that mine can be witnessed.

There is something important in that. To have someone witness your pain. I don’t mean always in the throes of it but more the fact that it happened at all. Not to just be like, oh man, that sucks, but to really witness the scars it leaves behind, how it marks the very person you are and how nothing can ever be the same again because it will forever be seen through that lens.

Sure we can work through our issues, our traumas, and we can even turn them around and push the experience of that pain into the world like a lifeline or one of those rings you throw off the boat when someone is tossed into the waters. We can throw that out there and whoever needs it can grab on and we’ll be like, I’ve got you, I’ve got you, as we reel them back to the closest thing to safety they’ll ever be again. Nothing will ever be completely safe any longer, that is just the nature of trauma which is an extension of the world we live in.

I guess I know myself well enough to know that I can’t look into the abyss just yet. I must wait until I give of myself to someone else in need. Then, when darkness descends, whether by the setting sun or by way of time carved out just for me where I can lock myself away and battle the beast on my own terms, then, I can peer in and say: Hello old friend.

Heather Sargent is a freelance writer and mother who believes in the motivating power of coffee and deadlines. Her work has been published in various school journals and online. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College where she was an Associate Editor for The Pitkin Review and before that a BA in English Literature from Washington State University (go Cougs!). She can often be found at her desk alternating between reading, writing, and mimicking the sounds of Facebook games. Of the things she does well, knowing the day of the week is not one of them, but she always finds time for family and friends. Heather is most interested in hybrid writing and works spotlighting social justice issues as she believes them to be important for current and future generations.

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