Last Night a DJ Almost Took My Life


I went to bed on a positive note, but maybe that was the problem. I woke up to a queasy stomach and anxiety. I laid there, trying to get my mind to focus on positive thoughts, but it would always come back to the negative chatter. That's not unusual because negative thoughts float in and out all the time, but what was crazy is that I was laying there thinking about old conversations and things that happened in the past. This wasn't even anxiety about what could possibly happen in the future; I'm feeling angry and hurt about things that were said and done long ago. I was diggin' in the crates.

Diggin' in the crates. That's what DJs use to actually do when they carried around all their albums in red milk crates. If they wanted to get people up on their feet and really get the party started, they'd dig in the crates for an oldie, but a goodie. A familiar song to make you throw your hands in the air and say,"Heeeeeey! That's my JAM!" A rewind to good times and good feelings. You remember all the words and probably have a story or two that you think of every time you hear that song. Memories are triggered each time the DJ digs in his crates to play something special just for you.

That sounds great when it's music, but when it's your mind looping the same sad song, that old faithful soundtrack of negativity and despair, that is the worst!  

I recently read this book, The Trauma Zone: Trusting God for Emotional Healing, by R. Dandridge Collins, Ph.D and in it he introduces the concept of the Trauma DJ. Here's how he describes the Trauma DJ:

"Trauma is life's ultimate test. It pushes you to the edge of your breaking point. Each of us, at some time, faces a life circumstance that is so trying that we feel like crumbling. It could be the death of a loved one. Or it could be something else: divorce, incest, infidelity, sudden job loss, church blowups...All can be crucibles that leave us reeling in emotional pain for years. The aftermath of this trauma is for the survivors to be left with a strange, uncomfortable voice, like a tape playing in their heads. It's the voice of the Trauma DJ." -p. 21

Dr. Collins uses the Trauma DJ metaphor throughout the book and when I really sat and thought about it the concept made a lot of sense to me. My Trauma DJ likes to spin his records early in the morning when I'm most vulnerable. He's got a captive audience for the most part because once he starts playing I pretty much don't feel like getting out of bed anymore. I'm stuck. My Trauma DJ will blow the dust off some -ish I thought I was cool with and had gotten over. He'll dig in the crates back to memories from high school or when I was a little girl. It's amazing how things that happened long ago can still sound as crisp and clear as if they just happened today. My Trauma DJ must've digitally remastered my songs like some 'ol Smooth Grooves collection off TV!

This morning he dug in the crates for memories about a past relationship. I didn't have a justifiable reason to be thinking about this person on this particular morning, but now that I'm sitting hear thinking about it, maybe the good mood from my night before has something to do with it. Before I went to bed I listened to a motivational CD and meditated. I decided to change my thinking and not give in to the same old story of my life. I desire a new song.

My Trauma DJ doesn't own those albums. He can't play any NEW music. He becomes obsolete like an 8-track to me when I decide to live a new song. So, he does the only thing he can do--dig in the crates and play something that'll keep me on the floor just one more song...make me dance a little bit longer...he's not ready to say goodbye...the party's not over. Oh, but it is.

After laying in bed tossing and turning with those thoughts for about an hour, I told myself I'm tired of this! I'm going to create some new wrinkles on my brain! I got up, started moving around, hopped in the shower, cut on some music, made some tea and wrote. I created something new. To my Trauma DJ I say, "Behold! I do a new thing!" I've two-stepped him out my head for now, but I know I need to take this one song at a time...

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