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It’s All in the Game

Tian Dayton MA, PhD, TEP
“Many deeply hidden memories have come flooding back. The important message here though is that it is possible to heal and survive. Everyone has survived their own kind of emotional or mental trauma. We all have our inner fears and misplaced feelings of guilt.” – Lynette Gould


Painful experiences are a part of anyone’s life. What makes them traumatic for one person and less so for another is a combination of factors that buffer the effect. I will ask myself questions like, how old was I when these events occurred, who was around to provide relief and support, how much access did I have to other, ameliorating experiences? Was I trapped by my size, my age, my basic make up, or position in the family? Was there anyone around who could help me process and make sense of frightening or chaotic experiences? I understand today that at moments of extremes stress I may have frozen; my thinking may have shut down but I was still absorbing the sounds, sights, smells around me. I kept the memories but not the “story” of my experience. But I can ameliorate today, I can process what didn’t get processed today, I can revisit, re-experience and reframe old events with new purpose and meaning. I can create a new story, a new narrative. I am not stuck with anything I don’t want to be stuck with, I may not get 100 percent of it processed, but I can process enough to learn, grow, enrich myself, and move on. I can recapture something beautiful and enjoy my life today.


I don’t create unnecessary trouble for myself today.   




You are reading from One Foot in Front of the Other: Daily Affirmations for Recovery by Tian Dayton, PhD (Health Communications, Inc., 9780757317880, paperback, 384 pages, $11.96).

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Tian Dayton, PhD, is the author of sixteen books, including The ACoA Trauma Syndrome; Emotional Sobriety; Trauma and Addiction; Forgiving and Moving On; and The Living Stage. In addition, Dr. Dayton has developed a model for using sociometry and psychodrama to resolve issues related to relationship trauma repair. She is a board-certified trainer in psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy and is the director of The New York Psychodrama Training Institute.