How To Manage Christchurch Quake Trauma

Posted 19 Feb 2012 by DebDonnell Popular
This item was posted on the Canterbury Quake Cafe Reflections website - click here to view the original

 

Overcoming

Christchurch Quake Trauma

Through Self-Empowerment

This comes from my journal writing today, and a writing prompt that I drew at random.

Christchurch Quake Terrace on the Park Apartments Demolition

Dirty Demo a Traumatic Reminder

The survivors of the Christchurch Quakes (and other natural disasters around the world) have been through one of the, if not the most difficult and traumatic experiences of their lives. We have been, and many still are, in deep emotional pain. Every day we are bombarded with negative fodder that is injected into our psyche, and fuels the thinking that we believe are our deepest fears and anxieties. We have come to believe that we are inadequate to look after ourselves and that which we deem important to us.

There is nothing else in this world that has the potential to highlight our biggest insecuritues like a sudden and unexpected natural disaster. When Mama Nature decides to launch a surprise attack on us, we are 100% helpless in the moment! Whether that moment lasts a few seconds, a few minutes, or a few hours, we have very little control over the outcome.

In the 22 February 2011 Christchurch Quake, sadly 185 people had zero chance of survival. I want to dedicate this article to them, and perhaps take liberty by saying that this article is FROM them. I personally do not know anyone who died in the Christchurch Quake, but I do believe that those I have learned about would, if they could, say something similar to what I am writing.

The Canterbury Earthquake

Dateline: 4 September 2010. 4:34am.

We, the people of Canterbury were sleeping soundly in our beds, unaware that we were about to be given the most violent wake-up call of our lives. This was our initiation into living in a volatile earthquake zone. At 4:35am didn’t know what had hit us, or at that point appreciate the value of the gift Mama Nature has presented us.

We were blind. We were 100% helpless. All hell was letting loose around us as everything in our homes crashed and smashed to the floor. It was impossible to do anything to escape the sheer violence of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.

What a sobering moment for all of us. We thought we were the ones in control of our safe and secure world until that point. But in 60 seconds we discovered that we are nothing but insignificant parasites on our host planet – the Earth.

Our Deepest Fears Are Triggered

How did it make you feel? To lie helpless in the dark, many of us alone, not knowing if we would escape alive and uninjured?

No one can understand that feeling unless they too have experienced it. And how each of us experienced our initiation test, and each one that follows, varies. Some have the mental and emotional skills to cope, whilst others don’t.

My observations since that day, as well as my own experiences and strategies I am applying to my own recovery, has made me aware that everyone is coping as best as they can with the survival and coping skills that they have learned over the years.

Many of us do not yet have the KESWIN (Knowledge, Experiences, Skills, Wisdom, Inventiveness or Natural Abilities) to manage our own trauma recovery, and I dare to say it, the health care professionals we access do not either. It’s not their fault – they were never trained for this type of event, and so now we are all involuntary lab rats as psychologists observe how we are coping in their case studies.

We Are Pioneers

We must keep reminding ourselves that this is a situation that very few places in the world, in our life time, have experienced. We are making history each and every day as we live through this mass trauma event. Every day we face a new challenge, a new fear, or our learned anxieties are triggered by aftershocks, news articles, conversations with well meaning friends, decisions by authorities who are as lost and overwhelmed as we are.

We must remember too, that there is no one to blame for what has happened, except our planet, and then accept this, and the fact that for us to overcome our fears and anxieties, we must take back control of our psyche.

How well you do this will depend on how capable you are at not only managing your recovery programme but learning new coping strategies along the way.

My goal is to share with you my own KESWIN and provide a safe and positive environment where you can explore, through writing and socialising with supportive and understanding people, how you are really feeling, and the develop some positive strategies to help you overcome your deepest fears and anxieties. In time, you will become self-empowered and able to return to being back in control of your world.

Ten Negative Emotions:

Christchurch Quake heightens negative emotionsAccording to Anthony Robbins, author of Unlimited Powerand Awaken the Giant Within, there are ten negative emotions which are really signals that you need to take action to improve your quality of life. When I read through the list I knew that every individual impacted by the Christchurch Quakes has, and still is, experiencing these emotions to some degree.

  1. Discomfort
  2. Fear
  3. Hurt
  4. Anger
  5. Frustration
  6. Disappointment
  7. Guilt
  8. Inadequacy
  9. Overload or Overwhelm
  10. Loneliness

Like Tony Robbins, I believe that these negative emotions need to be reframed in your mind and turned into positives. A good way to start to do this is by looking at everything you have experienced and felt as a wondrous gift. The gift really is the opportunity for you to work on yourself, to develop and grow by learning to respond in positive ways, rather than react in negative ways.

To Honour Those We Lost

With the milestone first anniversary of 22 February 2011 approaching, we must realise that we have had our opportunity to grieve for all that we have lost, but now it is time to turn that grief into action. To honour those who did not survive, we can identify and pursue and even achieve our dreams through self-empowerment.

Small Biz Writing Diamond Mine and Manufacturing Centre

The first step to doing this is to doing this is to identify what you are feeling, and then choose to take the next step, and the next, and the next. This is something that I would be privileged to help you with through The Small Biz Writing Diamond Mine & Manufacturing Centre.

The Small Biz Writing Diamond Mine & Manufacturing Centre has self-driven, group and individual mentoring courses available, which are based on the Diamond Writing System.  I have developed the Diamond Writing System for non-writers who want to share their knowledge, experiences, skills and wisdom through writing. Whilst this was not originally developed to help the survivors of the Christchurch Quake and other natural or personal disasters, I have started to develop material that is specific to your needs, based upon my own experienced.

Please note: I am not a qualified psychologist or medical professional. I am a writer with a deep interest in self-empowerment. My key strength is that I have survived natural and personal disasters and used writing based strategies to overcome ALL of the ten negative emotions outlined above.

My own experiences prove that one of the best weapons to fight this war with our unseen enemy are the self-development tools. By getting to understand and know your own strengths, limitations and breaking points, you can start to learn how to be best prepared for the unknown. And we have plenty of the unknown in Christchurch, don’t we?

The Diamond Writing Mine

If you feel that the coping strategies you are applying at the moment are not helping, and are open to exploring the Diamond Writing Programmes that I am offering, then please join the Diamond Writing Mine & Development Centre to find out more. Membership is free, as is access to the Diamond Mining community and the first two stages of the Diamond Writing System (Formation and Ejection).  I would love to get to know you and your disaster story, and help you to recover the confidence and courage you had before it happened.

Please Click HERE to join.

You can also Contact Me to find out more about the Diamond Writing System or discuss in person how it may be able to help you.

Wishing you a full recovery of your life and emotional well being!

Deb Donnell

 

 

 

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