Fractured, yet connected

Submission 2024

This image shows a boot pushing down onto ice.
Submitted by:Lesley Baldry
Department:Trauma Sensitive Practice

Trauma causes broken connections with a person’s environment, people, and self. A once intact being becomes fractured, split, while simultaneously birthing a barrage of intense energy to maintain the bare minimum connection to life and to satisfy the unrelenting demands of work, parenthood, and social security. Fracturing, while seemingly infinite and constant, is intermittently temporary.

Being in nature, and with animals, gifts moments of relief by initiating a brief collaboration of a person’s emotional parts. Listening to a horse chew hay, or seeing a tree bud crawling out of winter, beckon the fractured self to come together to be present and be reminded of the possibility of wholeness. Experiencing the crack of ice beneath a boot firmly pushed down, assembles all of the parts in an instant, into a moment of awareness.

The tease of wholeness flashes with calm intensity. These small slivers of experienced wholeness nurture new neural pathways until their appearances increase into a consistent, reliable string of presence. Moments of wholeness in nature open the door to repair fractures within self, and with others, and within nature. Connection paves the path of healing.

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How was your image created?
As part of my Trauma Sensitive Practice coursework, I reflect each week with words, and images. While trauma creates an instant disconnection within a person, in their relationships, and with their environment, time spent in nature can be very therapeutic. Nature is a part of the therapy because it creates connection. The photo I took of my boot pushing into the ice draws all parts of the self into that moment through the hearing of the crackling, the felt sense of pushing the boot down, the cold wind on my face, the sight of the bubbles scurrying out under the ice, and the smell of cold air in early spring. Not to mention the neuroception of the environment around me that calls out “am I safe?” in this space, or the interoception of the inner sense I experience as my energy, my focus, are all honed in on the act of pushing my boot into the ice. There is a healing that happens when these experiences in nature, with others, within ourselves occur repeatedly, with shorter intervals and with a repeated sense of safety the drive new neural pathways with gentle intention. Fragmentation caused by trauma can be healed with repeated experiences of connection.