Dangerous Compassions

wound healing

wound healing

Hello, reader.  How you doing?  There’s a sign that says “Wound Healing” near a local hospital in Springfield.  A place that specializes in healing wounds.

Every time I see that sign, I imagine showing up to ask for help.

“Please help me–I can’t heal these wounds on my own,” I say.

So many times I’ve felt my old emotional wounds and thought how much better my life could be, if I healed them.  I work and work toward truth, rest, and not taking out my pain on other people.

It’s so much striving, to face reality, when the whole world is telling me to deny my pain, distract or anesthetize myself, and ignore the unpleasant parts of myself and my past.

My values are to be real about who and I am what I need.  But that’s not welcome.  Most people want easy.  The truth is often not easy.

wound healing

That’s where a wound healing facility comes in.

“How long have you had this wound?” the worker asks, glancing at his clipboard.

Wow, I have so many wounds, but I could pick one.

“Since I was a child,” I reply.

“What is the wound?” the worker asks.

“I’m too much–I need to tamp down what I need and who I am, or else I’ll be abandoned,” I reply.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” the worker says.  “How severe is your wound?  On a scale of one to ten.”

“Oh, I’d say it’s an eight?” I answer.

“Does it affect you every day?”

“Yes, every day.”

“Where do you feel it?”

“In my community relationships, in my intimate relationships and close friendships, and in my fears.  Also, it makes me lose trust with myself.  I have no idea when I’ll be abandoned, so I try not to need anything.  I’ve been punished for needing things,” I reply.

“Sounds difficult,” the worker says.  “Have you tried to heal the wound before?”

“I do things all the time.  Kind self-talk, gratitude, therapy, prayer and ritual, singing, telling the truth to my spouse Ming.  Taking care of myself in general helps, like sunshine and movement.  But the wound is still controlling a lot of my life,” I reply.


“Ok, thank you,” the worker says.  “I think this is a good amount of info to start.  We’ll put together a team and get back to you tomorrow with a course of action.  But the norm is we start with massage twice a week, access to the hot water tubs three times a week, and howling class.”

“There’s a howling class?” I ask.

“Yeah, so you can move the energy through in a group.  I know it sounds weird, but it’s really easy,” the worker explains.  “Also we like to schedule meetings over cake with the people you love most in the world, and see if they can help with the healing too.”

“What kind of cake is it?” I ask.

“Whatever kind you want,” the worker says.  “We figure that out later.  Also we like to write, rehearse, and perform a play where you write the script and design the set.  The actors as animals re-enact scenes from your life, and you can interrupt them to ask for re-dos.  Some people find that very helpful.  And we like to stage elaborate army man fights, build blanket forts, and dig holes in backyards.”

“Whose backyards do you dig in?” I ask.

“Oh, some people volunteer their backyards for this,” the worker says nonchalantly.  “And there’s the dog or cat rental, where you can come visit a friendly dog or cat for an hour if you want to.  That’s included.  If you don’t want to cook for a while, there’s a cafe where you can eat.  I can show you before you leave.”

“How much will this cost?” I ask.

“It’s all free,” the worker says.  “It’s the least we could do, for creating a culture where your meds aren’t met, and you’re taught you’re bad for being who you are.  Sorry about that.  We can do better.”


“Thank you,” I say.  We walk outside together.

“Sure–no problem.  We’ll call you tomorrow.  There’s the cafe!  You can eat inside or under these trees.  Meanwhile, would you like a hug?” the worker asks.

The worker looks like he could be my grandparents’ age, and when I hug him, he smells like bay laurel and baby powder.  He smiles at me, accepting me as I am in a chill way.

I walk away knowing I’m held–I feel much safer than before I came.  It reminds me of radical mental health.  Just the intake was heartening.  I take a picture of the large banyan trees outside the cafe, and the picnic tables painted bright colors–picnic tables of all different sizes, some that will work for my fat body.

I’m thinking of the wonderful review I want to write, of this wound healing facility.  And if it works, all the other wounds I can get help healing also.

questions for discussion
  • What wound would you heal first?
  • What animal would play you, in the animal play of your life?
  • Do you like howling?
  • What color picnic table would you like to eat your lunch at?  I would choose the bright pink one for sure.
  • Why don’t we make a culture like this?
  • Will you make one with me?

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

3 replies on “wound healing”

Riding the MAX train in Portland, OR while reading this and the tears are streaming down my face. Your truth, new earth is the most beautiful vision, Laura Marie. This share is so powerful, I look forward to the next discussion that includes these prompts.

Love this post. Your thoughtful writing makes me hopeful for a better, more caring tomorrow and inspires me to take personal action toward a more caring present. Double Thumbs up & Solidarity Fists on creating a Wound Care Culture!

WonderFuLL article! I think it can help folks better understand how being trauma informed can help the individual and the whole of community. Thank you for sharing these deep and meaningful expressions of truth, Laura-Marie.

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