Trauma, Brenna Twohy, Spoken Word, Poem, Poet, Healing, Psychological, What I’ve Learned About Trauma, Words, Distress

What I’ve Learned From Trauma

The psychological impacts that occur as a result of living through distressing events is understood as trauma. Managing feelings associated with traumatic events in one’s life can often be challenging. Trauma affects individuals differently as situations that are traumatic for one may not be for another. 

Brenna Twohy, a poet and public defender based in Louisville, Kentucky, synthesizes her experience of trauma in the spoken word poem “What I’ve Learned About Trauma.” The poem uses the metaphor of being displaced, decorating one’s new home, and hosting a housewarming party gone awry to represent the events and aftermath of trauma. She notes the unexpected nature of trauma as it can resurface seemingly without warning. Twohy guides the listener through the process of experiencing a traumatic event, distancing oneself through heal, and being reminded of feelings of distress. Using a firm and melodic tone the poet captivates the audience and communicates how truly disruptive the experience of trauma can be.

What I’ve Learned About Trauma

“It isn’t as easy as being ‘something that happened to you,’ 

A package you opened once, 

You will wake up in a new zip code, 

Have to wander your way home,

Carry a few of the things you love to this new place you live in now, 

So, you buy throw pillows, 

You put up twinkle lights and have a big celebration, 

Point at the open windows and tell everyone who has ever see you crying,

‘Look! Look how I have not caged myself! Look what I have built out of two paint buckets and the blessing of my still here body!’ 

But trauma leans into the bar cart, 

Spills a drink on the new rug, 

Breaks off the door handle on his way out, 

Trauma sends you letters without warning for the rest of your life just so you remember, 

Trauma knows exactly where you live,

Who did you think built the house?”


Image Credits:
Feature Image: Tim Mossholder, on Unsplash, Creative Commons