Exploring psychological trauma and its affects
Eng. 220, Spring 2011
Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event. In “Mending by Sallie Bingham”, the reader can find that the narrator has dealt with a trauma, and the pain that arises is a lot. Same situations occur with Pat Staten, and her father, as well as Jane Lazzare. In each of the short stories, the reader can find that the author or narrator has suffered with psychological trauma and the pain that has manifested.
In the short story of “Mending by Sallie Bingham” the narrator expresses her loneliness. She explained how she longs for her mother’s soft arms and the warmth of her hugs. “She gave me the warmth of her long, skinny arms, and I gave her the warmth of mine, and before I was ten years old, I as addicted.” The psychological trauma the narrator experience is the loss of her mother touch. When the narrator is young her mother brings home man after man to satisfy her own needs. But when there is no man around the mother calls for her daughter to lay with her and basically cuddle until she falls asleep. “When my mother was between men and feeling the ache, she would call me into her bed and squeeze me until suddenly she would fall asleep. I was more the holder than the holdee. I did not matter. The warmth of her thin arms, the wrists hardly wider than milk-bottle necks, the bones as fine as glass splinters, would last me through the next day and the next.” There are times that the narrator states that she must sleep all alone when another man comes home. “When a new man moved in, I had to spend the night in my own bed with my fist in my mouth, not because the sounds they made frightened me…but because there was no more warmth for me.” As the narrator gets older she is sent to live with her aunt. Her mother has left to live with her new husband in Honolulu, and it is said that there is no room for the narrator. “There was...