Friday, October 22, 2010
Emily and Imagery
Emily looked around at the large rooms, uninteresting and rectangular, but large. She visualized winged guards standing at every doorway to keep her safe and unharmed. She imagined their faces, stoic and determined, fierce and menacing, but the wings told their true identity only to her. If only this aching ever-present fear would go away, she thought, maybe she could figure out how to relax and not need the guards.
At times we must create a shield to protect us from trauma that is too difficult for the brain to process. The shield can serve its purpose and protect us from harm, or it can take on a life of its own and cause more harm. We see this in combat veterans, returning home after prolonged warfare and trauma. Trauma alters reality. We see with our eyes, but we perceive with our mind. If what we perceive is our reality, then reality is fluid among people and built on life experience.
Emily needs a shield to protect her from prolonged trauma. She has the gift of creativity which enables her to use her imagination to create images which help her to cope. In dealing with trauma, her escape door is her imagination. As young Emily matures, this escape door will become a trap door for which escape is treacherous and uncertain.