The recent years I have continuously been on a healing journey meaning that I attended various forms of therapy, healing sessions, self-development classes, mediations courses, etc. To be specific, I began my healing journey when I turned seventeen and mostly read books and listened to audiobooks that focused upon self-development. Additionally, I began attending therapy with a psychologist that primarily focused on cognitive behavioural therapy. To be honest, my psychologist helped me to an extent, and I improved significantly during a short period. However, after three years, when I turned twenty, I realised I had to try something else, which led to various alternative practices. Such as specialised acupuncture, meditation, yoga, shamanic energy healing, and other forms of therapy. Mainly, I desired to become healed from the traumatic events I had lived through and experienced as negative, which would finally bring me more peace and fulfilment.
After seven years, I realised that I and maybe even we have constructed a trauma-focused narrative, which often emphasises on the hurt, suffering, oppression, and injustices experienced. In the first term of my graduation year, I chose to take a module called Refugee Voices and Narratives, which was based on an interest in the topic and because it did not have any exams (No need to lie, I am not perfect 😊). Nevertheless, the module was interesting and made me reflect upon my journey, especially when I did the weekly readings for the lectures. The main text that had a significant impact on me was Beyond the discourse of trauma: Shifting the focus on Sudanese refugees, written by Jay M. Marlowe. To summarise the text, Marlowe argued that most studies related to refugees often connect to them being traumatised or psychologically harmed in academic environments. As a result of the correlation to trauma, other positive factors that helped Sudan's lost boys survive often get ignored. Such factors as their abilities to survive, creativity, adapt, and preserver harsh conditions and lengthy journeys by foot, previous identities, values, and lessons learnt from past relations.
The lost boys of Sudan are Sudanese children that were forced to leave to their country of origin due to the emergence of the civil war in 1987. Approximately 20 000 children fled to Ethiopia in order to survive and escape enrolment into one of the armies. The Sudanese children had to walk several thousand miles and had several casualties and deaths. After their lengthy journey, some of the children were able to reach the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. Additionally, these children had to survive hunger, thirst, wild animals, illnesses, and a hostile environment in Ethiopia before being redirected to Kenya. To be honest, trauma-focused narratives are required in these specific situations as well because these individuals survived and experienced horrendous circumstances. Additionally, traumatic events significantly impact an individual's psyche and life, which requires adequate support and guidance. On the other hand, these individuals survived and preserved these challenging events, which suggests they are emotionally and intellectually vigorous. Also, Marlowe mentioned that people are not completely passive when encountering or experiencing a traumatic event because they choose to respond through their adaption, persistence, and counterreaction to adverse events and impacts.
The lesson I received from the Lost Boys was to reframe my past experiences, which mostly were given a negative context. As a result of the negative frame, I became heavily focused on the injustice, oppression, pain, and suffering experienced. Additionally, I forgot much of the creativity, persistence, relationships, camaraderie, joys, challenges, and victories experienced that had an impact on who I became. The Lost Boys taught me that we are not weak. Rather, we are strong and capable of surviving horrendous events, which we can turn into something more than just pain and suffering. Lastly, I ask you to reflect upon your past and reframe any event in a manner that could benefit you.