Lucero Speaks

Suitcase of Trauma

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 2 Comments


A sullen child sits on the curb in front of a modest track house.  The child’s physical appearance is that of an unkept 9 year old boy.  The child is clutching a small suitcase and has desperate eyes.  The child’s heart is beating very fast.  This child has been sitting on the curb for more than 3 hours waiting for her father to pick her up for a rare weekend visit.  It has been months since she has last seen him, and although he had a woman hiding in the backseat of the car the last time, and the child’s visit was spent listening to moans outside of a locked bedroom door, she has hope.  Hope that he will arrive, that he will scoop her in to his loving arms and make her feel safe and worthwhile.

Dusk approaches and my mom sadly approaches.  “Ned, honey, I don’t think he’s coming for you.”
I don’t want to believe it.  “Just a few more minutes mom, he’s just late, he’s on his way.”

As night falls I am broken, but I won’t cry.  I pick up my little suitcase, enter the house and head straight to the bathroom where I cut off the last 3 inches of my hair.  I’m tough.  I first cut my hair off after having been molested in a basement the year before.  I can handle this.  My heart is falling out of my body.

My name is Ned.
I have a tremendous amount of love in my life.  I am a survivor like no other.  I have healed in many areas of my life, psychologically, physically and spiritually.
I am very intelligent.  I speak to large groups of people in the mental health professions about trauma intervention, and I have recovered from severe PTSD.
Today, however, I was sitting on that curb as the dark approached and I felt very, very bad.

I thought my friend was going to visit this afternoon, and as time marched on and I heard no tires pulling into the driveway and  received no word of cancellation I began to sink.  I could not come to terms with why I felt so bad and I was confused.  We had no actual appointment or promised time or activity, just a mention of, “yeah, maybe I’ll stop by later”.   My heart was heavy, and I felt like a burden to the earth as I dialed the number at dusk.  My mask of a friendly “hello” did not sufficiently hide my pain.  I lashed out by withholding a well-deserved compliment.  I struggled with small talk and hung up feeling empty.

I felt lonely, sad, discarded, frustrated, angry, jealous…  all a bit over the top considering the non-circumstances.

Fortunately this friend is evolved and was willing to chat a bit about my reaction.  I felt better, just knowing I hadn’t “ruined” our friendship with my weirdness.

As I was driving to pick up take-out a short while later, I had an odd sensation.  I smelled my little suitcase.
In that moment I realized that the scenario had nothing to do with my deep feelings of pain…  it was simply a trigger for the abandonment that had long since passed.  Trauma memory misplaced.

Only a few hours later I am so grateful for this opportunity to once again expand in this lifetime.  Had I not experienced these moments today, there is no telling how much longer I would have carried the burden of this area of my past.
Due to the extensive EMDR trauma work I have participated in I posses the tools to place the trauma where it belongs.
I have the ability to let Ned stand up with her little suitcase, get in her own love- filled vehicle and confidently claim her place in the driver’s seat.





  1. Valdeane Odachi - March 10, 2014 2:49 am

    Another fabulous and heart-touching story Annetta. I sit here on the verge of tears because I understand how those little triggers are the catalysts for big things of the past.
    Guess that’s why we are blessed to have those moments, even when someone (usually those we care most about) is the unfortunate recipient of some unkind words or attitude. Fortunately your friend was able to move along the journey with you.
    Funny, I was just mentioning to my son that I thought I had read that memories attached to smells were the most powerful. Be it a real smell wafting through your vehicle or just through your mind, it served the purpose to help you recognize what was going on in life.
    Thanks for sharing this. It helps me remember that I’m not alone in this thing called “life” and that we are all healing and moving forward… LOVE YOU!

  2. Guido van Gent - March 22, 2014 9:59 pm

    Beautiful and yet very sad story. Are we somehow related and share the same father? I hope not, because it wouldn’t stop at just violence and lack of presence.
    I am so impressed on your way of handling with these trauma’s from the past!

    Although sometimes over thinking things and stress too much about finance and feeling secure in life i truly feel happy and blessed to be here. Cupcake is the love of my life and gives me tremendous amounts of positive energy and it makes me feel positive about life! But i never had this outcome of problems from the past, it is all locked so far away that i even started questioning myself if i overcame these issues or just ignored them. I seriously thought about it for a long time, but i don’t feel a blockade lungering in the back of my happiness. To me it is just the past.

    Cupcake is convinced that someday it has to come out and she will give me a lifetime of patience with this and will be there when it hits, but i really can’t feel if that will ever happen as i am happy with my life as it is now and I’m just focussed on a happy future with positive experiences.

    I wish i had the control over such trauma’s and emotions and have total control over yourself and your inner workings. Deep respect for the way you mastered these gifts.