“Follow the glow worms”: a creative.~.relational wonder(ing) with trauma stories who seek, and resist, being told
Like a moth, this thesis takes flight from Sophie Tamas’ (2010) explorations with survivors of partner abuse, to become a paradoxical, playful, and performative body-of-work which stutters and splutters its way between and beyond dominant understandings of trauma narratives to follow the living glow of trauma stories. While attempting to find, tell, and make sense of violent yet silenced fragments from my teenage years, which both want and refuse to be told, unexpected emergences arrive - producing affective matterings and movements (Stewart 2011). These elusive emergences, these living sparks of light, these ‘glow worms’ invited me, and now you too, into a creative.~.relational wonder(ing). By this I mean a wonder-fuelled (MacLure 2013) journey of wandering with trauma stories; of creating.~.relating with stories as they shift, change, and kick up against temporal, familial and narrative constraints. By tending, affectively, to what glows, and reflectively to what happens, and what gets produced, when we attempt to follow these glows I found I was able to travel across time and space, to return, remember, and relate-with trauma stories. This body-of-work documents these travels and seeks readers who are willing to travel towards what is felt and sensed rather than what is known and told. This process of creative.~relational wondering does not offer up concrete understandings or practical resolutions. Instead, it offers affective and evocative entanglements that, in their glowing movements and matterings, trouble the pursuit of explicit meaning and the privileging of coherent narrative in counselling practice and research, particularly in relation to stories of trauma where the impetus to tell, and thus to recover what is supposedly broken by trauma is becoming increasingly prevalent. This thesis proposes something different; a generative and affective following of trauma stories as they shift and shimmer through different spaces, places, parts, and seasons.