Understanding Trauma and Its Impact
Experiencing trauma is an essential part of being human: History is
written in blood.
—B. Van der Kolk and colleagues (1996)
EXPERIENCE—REACTION AND RESPONSE
There is probably not a soul in North America or perhaps in the world who will ever forget September 11, 2001 (9–11). It was a day that, for many of us, changed our view of our world, our image of security, and our expectations of the future. For almost all of us, it was a marker event, a life crisis. For many, however, it was also a trauma. We each have a memory of it engraved into our minds, hearts and souls, and memory banks.
What Jeffery Kauffman refers to as the “loss of our assumptive world,” the world previously experienced as normal or predictable (Kauffman, 2002), was altered permanently for us on 9–11.
There is a very significant statement engraved on the arches of the memorial built for the April 19,1995, terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City. At that time, this destructive act was the worst act of terrorism perpetrated in the United States.