When people talk about trauma, they never talk about the ways in which it affects survivors lives. How it creates chronic poverty and homelessness, destroys potential and steals opportunity from those who have been victimized. Trauma can make you lose hope, kill your faith in institutions and governments and--most painfully--separate you from your family, friends and fellow citizens, none of whom seem to understand your pain or the ways in which it immobilizes you.
There are lots of non-profits that exist who say that their goal is to empower trauma survivors to lead full lives, but they are failing miserably, particularly in the U.S. Employers in my country don't care about how hurt you are, about the flashbacks you're forced to live with or about the panic attacks that creep up on you when you're forced to engage with mean-spirited or cynical people, people who know your history and your pain and whom seek to exploit, market, mock or deny it.
Upon realizing this, I decided that I needed to start my own business. I want to make my own money, and to do so without feeling like I'm less than in somebody else's business because of what has been done to me. I'm studying construction and want to build recovery towns for trauma survivors, so I'm teaching myself to make building columns by making mini-columns then turning them into jewelry. I want to consult with political and NGO/Non-profit leaders around the issues that effect trauma survivor's lives, so I'm reading and studying and working on writing white papers that I can sell to fund my education and my dreams. No one seems to care about my trauma, or about the fact that it affects my quality of life in so many real ways. I live in a country that has little sympathy for its own and little patience for those who can't just pull themselves "up by their bootstraps," but because I #MeanBusiness, I intend to build a successful international business for myself. My goal is to generate enough income so that I can have a great quality of life and then build those recovery towns that will allow others to find a safe space where they can heal, work and play in peace. It may take me a long time, but I will forge my way ahead, one piece of wood, one word, one prayer at a time.