On the Everydayness of Trauma

Abstract

Shaili Jain's The Unspeakable Mind (2019) is an impressive examination of the stress experienced by a veteran community that too often is handled with a sense of clinical sterility that borders on inhumanity, or a that of pandering condescension. However, what is striking about Jain's text is the lack of analysis of how trauma manifests in what Heidegger would refer to as average everydayness. This, to me, seems like a missed opportunity, especially as it pertains to trauma-based ethics since all too frequently manifestations of trauma do not occur as they are portrayed to in popular culture, but in the day-to-day and moment-to-moment living of those who deal with trauma. In this article I interrogate everyday manifestations and ideal manifestations of trauma using a comparative lens. My hope is that by focusing my analysis on my process of engagement with traumatic experiences I can help develop new discussions about trauma that will both allow for the discovery of new modes of thinking-about trauma as well as illuminate more nuanced methodologies of healing for those effected by post-traumatic stress in future research.

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Ryan Wasser
Luzerne County Community College

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