When the unexpected happens in our lives, it shifts us in some small way whether we realise it or not.
I see it time and time again as I unpack a persons thoughts look at the process and how they arrived at the result they did.
Sure it’s different for everyone, we can arrive at a destination and be happy that we got there no matter how we got there BUT what about when the unexpected walks into your world?
Last night I was in a session with a woman I deeply admire and respect when we were in about our fifth ‘throw our heads back’ with laughter moment we heard a deep sickening thud of two cars colliding, it was dark so we couldn’t see.
We both went out and saw the wreckage of the two cars, there was a young girl screaming at the state of her new car and her young partner trying to console her, it took a while to work out who was driving the other car as there were now a fair few people gathered around.
Fast forward I went to the young woman as another man brought out a chair and checked she was OK we still didn’t know who was in the other car.
I ran into my building and grabbed a couple of bottles of water and blankets, it was freezing.
People had started to leave as everyone was ok and there was nothing left to do, I wrapped her up in a blanket and after checking she hadn’t hit her head or any part of her body got her to tell me what happened, she did, I gave her water and her partner was with her.
I looked over at a young man standing with his eyes glazed over, he was in silence he was pale, I walked to him and asked him if he was in the other car he said yes, he wasn’t able to comprehend what happened. I spoke to him but he was clearly in shock, he hadn’t injured himself at all, so I gave him water asked him if he needed a blanket. We just stood back and waited for the tow trucks and fire people to arrive.
One of the most important things that we can do is stay calm in that environment I’m grateful that I have had years of crises and trauma response training to be able to recognise who needs my help more and what I’m looking for.
The young girl was verbal and rightly pissed off, upset, in shock and terrified of the enormity of it all, but she was externalising it all.
The young man worried me though, often when someone goes into that space, they can leave a scene and go home everyone thinking they are OK, but a whole range of thinking is happening in their head, the story becomes unreal and patchy, they can go into shock creating a trauma down the line.
The simplest of questions can help stop that for a person and creating calm within yourself, your breathing and your movements will assist them to follow your lead.
Helping with the fundamentals and basics bringing a mind back into the here and now by getting him to quickly replay what happened out loud and have him focus on holding what I’d given him, that quick interaction had his facial movements change from ‘WTF just happened’ to he smiled and comprehended I’d just asked him for the 10th time are you ok do you need to sit down, I got as he responded ‘NO I’m not ok’ that he had not only heard me BUT he just registered with his feelings.
This all happened very quickly but all was ok, and everyone was seen to.
BUT my fabulous client and I as we stood there I told her of one of my ideas and we came up with THE most perfect celebration I LOVE it. I hadn’t even thought of it, but when the unexpected idea happens, it can be a lightning bolt that sets off a whole nother level of mind blow.
Yes her session was over and the young man, well I think he will be OK, and the young woman and her partner will be too, I think they may be feeling incredibly lucky they all walked away as it could have been so much worse for them all.
As my very special plan that includes a bus, a celebration and champagne come together I’ll let you all know.
I’ve written a few books over the last three years and am very excited to share them with you…
Until then the point of this story is to tell you this; when you have something unexpected happen or you end up in a situation that you never thought you would end up in, externalise it all, replay it as soon as you can with a professional or loved one, write it out step by step, your mind needs to comprehend a situation, so it doesn’t lay dormant and reemerge as something more sinister.