Dramatic Occurrences that become Pivotal Experiences
By Sara Jane
When you hear the word “dramatic” what do you think about?
Dramatic scenery, a dramatic occurrence, amateur dramatics …..
What do you consider to be a dramatic experience?
Drama happens in everyone’s life and for some it can start very young – here is a little of my story.
Early 1959, I’m not quiet one yet and I’m sat on the kitchen floor by the table, watching Mummy and playing.
There is a cloth on the table and then Mummy puts something on it, intrigued I pulled the cloth to see …..
She had just made a fresh cup of coffee with boiling milk; it went all over my face and neck and seeped into the jumper I was wearing.
I was immediately picked up and run under the cold tap and then Mummy ran over road with me to the doctors – no home phones and no car.
I was rushed to hospital; the biggest problem was that the jumper had struck to my skin just below my neck; the swift action had saved me from scarring on my face and most of my neck.
I was initially sent home after 5 days but because I wouldn’t leave the wound alone was taken back into hospital and was there for 3 months including my 1st Birthday, the only child in the burns unit.
In those days parents weren’t allowed to stay with their children, the rule was 1 hour every other day. Because of the distance my parents lived from the hospital and Mummy not driving, they actually only got to see me once a week.
This sort of separation has since been discovered to have a dramatic affect on children; simply put children go through 3 phases:
- The naughty phase in which they don’t stop crying – this is easy to help a child recover from
- The good phase in which the child stops crying and is very quiet – it is possible to help a child heal from this but it takes time
- Phase three; the child looses interest in the parents before they even leave the room – considered by most to have caused irreparable damage emotionally.
Mum has confirmed I hit phase three.
Thinking back about it as I write this, as dramatic and traumatic as the scalding was, it was the feelings of unworthiness, of being unloved, unwanted and not good enough caused by the separation that affected me the most.
Fast forward to December 1996, I was sat in the dentist’s chair having a wisdom tooth extracted. I’d had 2 or was it 3 injections to numb the area, the dentist was really struggling, the tooth was putting up a great fight – crack and then another.
I was told not to worry and with the tooth removed my husband took me home.
As the injections wore off I was in so much pain, I found myself sitting with my face against a hot radiator.
Over the next week the pain eased but I was having more and more difficulty eating and cleaning my teeth. As I lay in bed one night it felt like my jaw moved in a way that it shouldn’t.
My husband took me to the hospital and long story short they x-rayed and discovered my jaw was broken.
The upshot was 6 months of pain and sleepless nights and now I see it as an amazing gift, a pivotal moment in my life, that was my wake-up call, that helped me to find myself and to really start living my life.
Never judge what can have a dramatic affect on someone, it can be as simple as a single word, especially to a child.
Traumatic experiences can have a dramatic affect and each one of us will react in a different way, it really depends on previous experiences.
Sometimes what appears to be “bad” can be the greatest gift – Love yourself, All of You, You are Special.
Copyright © Sara Jane