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From the desk of Coach James

What the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations can teach us about healing from trauma

Over the last four days Britain has celebrated Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The celebrations have been huge, like nothing I have seen before. My local town had a street party with tables running down the high street, and similar parties were held up and down the country. The Jubilee Concert on the Saturday evening was monumental, an eclectic mix of artists came together, and Dianna Ross closed the show with some of her classic hits, and this was her first big performance in 15 years. On Sunday June 5th 2022 to close the four days of celebrations there was a huge carnival procession down the Mall that leads to Buckingham Palace. To see the efforts people had gone to with the costumes and floats was phenomenal.

Watching the event unfold on TV was mesmerising, and to see the coming together of people filled me with joy. On the first day of the celebrations, I went into Exeter town centre and the atmosphere was like nothing I had experienced before. Tables were placed down the street people brought their picnics and sat with strangers to enjoy the day.

It was on the Sunday during the carnival procession that I really felt emotional about seeing the people coming together. There were open-top busses filled with iconic faces and images to represent the last few decades, I connected with the 80s and 90s busses because they related to me and had sights and sounds of those decades which I grew up in, seeing Timmy Mallet on the top of a bus with the recognisable pink and yellow mallet really brought back memories from childhood on a Saturday morning, watch kid’s TV. There was a lot of nostalgia represented on the decade buses.

Emotions don’t often get to me, as having suffered with PTSD one of the things you do during that is close yourself off and become emotionless. Having resolved a lot of my PTSD aspects I can get emotionally involved with things nowadays, it does require some conscious effort, but I can do it.

The experience the Jubilee has brought about has made me feel emotionally connected to the events. I was able to relate to something bigger than me, I felt part of that community spirit, the coming together of human souls.

As previously mentioned, during the trauma response, and PTSD a person shuts themselves off emotionally, becomes unavailable to the outer-world, as a way of retreating from perceived danger, thus protecting themselves.

The Jubilee brought the people together, and it was near impossible not to feel part of it, with bunting put up everywhere – including outside my bedroom window, as I live in the

centre of town. To feel alive, you need to feel you belong to something, it is in our human nature to need to be part of a community, we cannot exist in isolation. For me, I don’t know about others, the massive community spirit was overwhelming, and to feel emotionally [involved] attached to it was a big deal.

Feeling a part of something is an important part of being a person, and the Jubilee celebrations proved that. I had forgotten what it is like to really feel emotionally connected with something on such a big scale. We all need to feel that sense of connection and belonging. For those affected by trauma it is even more important to feel a sense of connection and belonging, because it will help them to feel that it is okay to be who they are, without fear of judgement, or hurt. It is safe to be you.


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