The Effect of Trauma on our Children

I think about the neighbor’s story of the lasting effects of the flood caused by the 2001 Tropical Storm Allison. She related that her daughter was three years old at the time, and had to be evacuated in a small boat in torrential rain, in raging water, in the dark of night. 

Now, that child 16 years later is a young adult and still is afraid when it rains.

In the middle of this scenario are the children who certainly have had their lives impacted too. The children have had a loss of their home, their toys/possessions, their routine, some of their parent’s time, change of location and friends. 

I think about your friend Bobby and his 5 children (Watch video here). I cannot even begin to imagine what they are going through.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share the resources that I found concerning how to help children cope with natural disasters. I hope that the information will be useful as we interact with our families, friends, and neighbors that have been impacted with the flooding or any other disaster. Children are very resilient however it would seem that this event has left a lasting impression.

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Hell with Harvey

Only minutes later, my flight was officially cancelled, re-routed to Dallas and our family reunion plans were set in place.

Landing in Dallas late Friday night was bittersweet. It was wonderful to see my family, to be safe and “enjoying” a weekend away. It was terrifying to know that a category 5 Hurricane was approaching the Texas Coast.

We were glued to the weather channel.

Harvey made landfall for the first time near Rockport and Fulton, TX and proceeded to stall over southern Texas bringing record-breaking rainfall (up to 52 inches of rain) and flooding waterways to 500 year levels. My husband and I watched multiple on-line weather tracking graphs noting every inch of change in the rivers and bayous by our home with hour-to-hour updates. Our home was spared after this initial landfall and Saturday afternoon was eerily calm. We considered returning to Houston and several times discussed packing up and checking out of our Dallas hotel.

The rainfall continued, water elevations climbed, the death toll rose and we watched with bated breath as our street became a flowing river.

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Play Like a Girl!

I was born the eldest grandchild on both sides and I was dearly loved. But, since I was a baby girl, my grandfather didn’t open the Dom Perignon. They waited until my brother was born to celebrate his succession of the family name. As a young girl, that didn’t make sense to me. Years later, I see the culture that breeds acceptance of these tiny acts of inequity. It is possible that my desperate need to feel “as good as” or be treated “equal to” manifested over-achievement in almost every area of my life. Perhaps that’s positive.

But I wonder what little girls would truly accomplish if we valued them for their feminine attributes and didn’t subtly (or not so subtly), communicate that they need to be like boys to play in this world.

I suggest we play like girls and see what happens.

If we want a world that values the feminine as much as the masculine and treats everyone with the same respect and dignity, we must act and now. There is a call to rise, as a community of people (men and women), who believe that the world would be a better place if greater value were placed on loyalty, communication, compassion, empathy and patience.

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Intuition, are you using yours?

Have you ever looked back on a situation and thought, “I knew that wasn’t right for me”?

Have you ever felt really nervous about a decision despite carefully working through all possible outcomes in your mind and then had it turn out poorly?

Have you ever developed goose bumps during a conversation that seemed completely unexpected?

As a physician, I was initially trained to use hard facts, scientific answers and peer-reviewed literature to manage patients. It wasn’t until I was a medical student on the pediatric ward with a very astute senior resident that I learned about the concept of “mother’s intuition”. He reminded me that mothers “just know” their children and if mom is concerned, the medical team needs to take her seriously. This was contrary to a lot of my training focused on NOT listening to emotional parents in order to avoid clouded judgment.

As time goes on and life experience has added to my database, I have come to realize that we all have an innate sense at our disposal. You can call it intuition, Divine guidance, a sixth sense,  or just plain gut feelings.

In keeping with the mystery, it’s hard to put into words.

But whether we can describe it or not, the important thing is that we can use it to guide our path.

As our generation of women step into bigger possibilities and yearn for deeper life purpose, we must also cultivate our intuitive powers. Having access to this intimate knowledge at crucial junctures is essential for an authentic life, aligned with core values. Intuition provides the breadcrumbs that lead you home to a whole-hearted, purpose-driven, fully realized life.

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