Sunday, March 15, 2009

Show & Tell: The Ring


Part of working with trauma is to find resources. These are resources that you find supportive and help you when you are feeling a trauma response. One of my resources is this ring:

The ring has two purposes. This is my great-grandmother's, but I more associate it with my maternal grandmother. The ring reminds me of all the nurturing that my Italian grandmother gave to me as a child. The ring and how it got here has an interesting story. My great-grandmother, who also was from Italy, came to this country with her husband. She sent her husband back to Italy to sell some land she owned and to bring the money back. He ended up bringing back this stunning diamond and sapphire ring instead. She was very angry with him because, as she said, "I can't eat that ring!" They ended up getting divorced.

My great-grandmother lived with her daughter-in-law, my grandmother who also immigrated from Italy. My grandfather, who was 1st generation Italian-American, whisked my grandmother away from Italy after knowing her for three weeks and not speaking any Italian. My grandmother did not speak English and did not learn English until my mother went to school. My grandfather was known as "the American" to the Italians, and he was my grandmother's ticket out of poverty in Italy to a better life in America. She got the ring from her mother-in-law, she gave it to my mother, and my mother gave it to me when she got too fat to wear it. As the youngest in a family of six who usually gets worn out hand-me-downs, this is one I cherish.

Coming into the Present

The second purpose of the ring is to serve as a distraction. When you are experiencing trauma, you are not present. You focus on the trauma as if it was happening now. The ring and other things that catch my eye serve to bring me back into the present. When you experience trauma, you get extremely focused. You focus only on the trauma. The point of looking around is to see the bigger picture and to focus on other things. It also helps me realize that I am not actually experiencing the trauma right now, though that is what my brain keeps replaying.

I have been struggling with re-living the trauma of my past pregnancy and loss as I get closer to our FET transfer. Some days are better than others when I am not identified with the trauma. Other days, something sets me off and I'm stuck in this doom-n-gloom feeling. The "Dream Team" that I posted about previously are part of my pool of resources. The ring reminds me of my other guardian angel, my grandmother.

Angels sponsored by Mel's Show and Tell.


Beautiful Mess said...

Your ring is so beautiful! I'm glad you have something to help you and bring you back to the present. Thank you for sharing your ring and the wonderful story that goes along with it.

JuliaS said...

Wow - gorgeous ring! Lol on the "can't eat it"! I think I would have really liked your great-grandmother! :0)

I like the having something to serve as a distractionary and supportive resource to trauma. I think in some ways, subconsciously, I've done that with things along the way as I grieved.

one-hit_wonder said...

What a lovely family story about a stunning ring!

mrsmoore08 said...

It's a beautiful ring and such a touching story. Thanks for sharing!

Lollipop Goldstein said...

What an incredibly gorgeous ring with an incredibly important job.

Kristin said...

What a wonderful ring to have as your emotional touchstone.

WiseGuy said...

What a story!

That ring did such a great journey, and is now in the hands of somebody who cares for it so much and cherishes it so much.

I am so glad, that you are finding and organizing your strengths. I hope the best for you.

geeksinrome said...

that is an amazing ring!!

and I know grandma cookie is pysched you have it.

Her example and life are so important. You may have a super imperfect mom, but you had a great maternal figure in your grandma and that is what counts -- someone who can inspire you and whom you can lean on in times of pain.

I know she is looking over you (as are we xxx oo)

Cara said...

Stories like that move me! Thanks for sharing how you cope - we all have to have a way.

DAVs said...

I love the ring and the story :)

luna said...

what a beautiful story, and the ring is gorgeous!