In my professional life, the sharing of experiences and case studies is called swapping war stories. I work in an industry that involves crisis and emergency management, lending to some very interesting experiences. Sometime, you feel as if you’re the only one that’s had to handle a certain situation.
When we get together at conferences or trainings, especially with peers from various organizations, war stories are sure to flow. It’s good therapy for the soul (professionally-speaking). We laugh, we learn, we tell tall tales. And, we relate to and encourage one other in ways that only we who experience these situations can.
Earlier this week, I found myself swapping war stories of a different kind. I started an eight-week workshop for parents who have children with trauma issues. As we began our lessons, our conversations veered off into experiences. Mind you, this is a small workshop, with parents who are dealing with the same level of issues, if not more intense.
I was surprised to hear that many of the experiences were similar to ours. It was great. Everyone in the room could relate to a behavior in public that left you wondering if the police were en route. All of us have been in situations where people would say the most inappropriate things in front of the children. “So, just how bad off were they really?”
I think the class is going to be a great thing, and for more than just war stories. I’m sure that plenty more will flow over the next seven weeks. But, I’ll also learn more about the physiological and psychological connections between children in their development stages and reactions to abuse, trauma and neglect. I’ve heard a scattering over the months in various monthly seminars, but this will be a great wholesale approach.
My wife took the course back in the fall, but with a different instructor and an entirely separate group of participants. Over the months, she’s shared various tidbits and nuggets that have helped us immensely. But the nature of the boys’ issues have changed quite a bit since then. I think it’s cool that now I get to take the course and see how the information applies to where we are today.
I hope to share over the coming weeks some of what I’m learning and possibly even a few war stories that I’ve forgotten over time.