Trauma & Broken Bones

March is almost here, and it is the month of the Gregorian calendar in which I was born during. It is usually at this time that I begin to reflect a lot about the year that I experienced and the year that I envision. Yet, as February ends and 2018 continues, I have been thinking a lot about trauma –  the trauma I have caused in others, the trauma I have accrued, and the trauma I have inherited.

There is a wonderful quote from Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee) that she shared during her talk about activism while visiting Brown’s campus back in 2016.

Historical trauma is like a bruise that masks a broken bone that never quite healed right. – Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee) [2016].

And that voiced reality caused me think about how I am a body of broken bones, and who has also broken bones in other people.

Yet, it is through this compile of broken bones that I have developed a sense of identity through contradictions. I do not want to be the person(s) who have given me these broken bones. Their harm has left a permanent mark on me that keeps me from becoming like them. But there are limitations of what I can achieve, and what I can envision with only these broken bones. My compiled pain hinders me from seeing the potential, the growth, the ‘good’ in them.

I am not absolving myself of the pain that I have caused, or the pain that I will cause. I acknowledge that I have messed up numerous times, and will probably mess up many more times. I initially was going to write a post calling out some prominent natives who have silenced and who have caused others and myself harm, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, but that is not how I envision my own healing process. I do not want to continue this path of harm to others by silencing and harming them the same way that was done to me.

But, in recognition of a broken body, in which that trauma lives and breathes to today, how might I change that? How might I heal a broken body that was created by the convergence of divinity and mortality? How might my healing process be?

In all honesty, I am not exactly sure if I have the answer(s) right now.

This blog has various strands of my thoughts of what that healing could look like, of what that holistic diné aesthetic could be, or what my healthy body could be.

Loving and forgiving myself seems to be a moment of repairing those broken bones. Remembering and reclaiming the stories of my ancestors seems to be a pain reliever.

Yet, interrogating my trauma, working through my trauma, is a process that, I think like everything else, is lifelong. 

It cannot even be done by myself, but I have to figure out what I want for myself, what I envision is a healthy broken-bone free Charlie. It is going to be a messy process, but it is going to be my own messy process of healing and moving forward. 

Ahéhee’ – Thank you. 

photo credit: A.Scott (2017)


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