The Traffic Light

How many of us can stop and think about a time that we felt like we were sitting at a traffic light forever? I know with myself , it’s usually during a time that I didn’t plan my time well prior to leaving out of the house, and thus, have no margin whatsoever as a cushion. Every light seems longer. Sitting and waiting seems more drawn out and daunting. But, what about the traffic lights in life? Read the poem below to catch a glimpse of how that works.

The Traffic Light


against time.

against cruelty.

against uncertainty.

against the monotony


the songs played

on the piano,.

that whisper,

“You won’t make it.

Can’t take it.

you’ll always be

here at this red

traffic light.”

But then, the light

turns green,

and God says,

“Go dream, and

make those dreams come alive.

Thrive in every area now.

No holding back!

Go forth!”


This poem was written to bring comfort to those individuals who deal with PTSD/trauma on a daily basis, and they feel like they’re in the “Stuck Aspect” of Trauma. Although we feel like we are trapped, we know that God’s presence is always there. It is a representation of the dialog between the trauma impacted individual and God himself.

stuck, trauma, emotional health, mental health, PTSD, emotional healing, brokenness, katina horton, poetry, poem
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Stuck Inside.

Stuck Outside.

There’s No Place to Go.

“REST Inside.

In Me Abide.

And I Will

Keep You Close.”

Related Post

Scripture Meditation

John 15: 1-11

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

Stuck Inside Message of Hope

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

The Stuck Aspect: Trauma Series

There is nothing worse than feeling stuck. Literally stuck! Sometimes we have a zipper that is stuck. When it happens, it is usually when we are in a hurry. So, what we do is to keep pulling and tugging on the zipper, creating a worse situation. Then, we pull long where we end up with extra material in the way of the zipper, and the next thing you know, we have a ripped coat and a stuck zipper.

stuck, trauma, emotional health, mental health, PTSD, emotional healing, brokenness, katina horton, poetry, poem
Photo by George Becker on

How about being stuck in an elevator? I don’t like elevators myself, and so the thought of being stuck on one just makes me feel claustrophobic and helpless. And of course, for people who have been stuck on elevators, their first reaction is to panic. Lastly, what about feeling stuck in a relationship? There is nothing worse than feeling powerless, and not realizing that you do have options. However, you have grown so used to dysfunction, that you don’t know what it is even like to exert boundaries, and explore these options.

Today’s topic, “The Stuck Aspect”, deals with a dissociated state of trauma. In this state you end up feeling helpless, trapped, and not sure of how to proceed, where to go, or when to go. We will explore two aspects of this state: the stuck inside and the stuck outside aspect.

STuck Outside Aspect

The Stuck Outside aspect of trauma is when you are dissociating, and having an experience where you are “outside” of yourself. This experience makes you feel like you are watching yourself as if you are watching a movie, but you are not part of the movie where all of you is integrated together.

I first experienced this when I was living at my last place of residence, and trauma was reigning, and in the forefront of my life. Basically, I was in survival mode. I hadn’t done much work in the area of healing because of being afraid to face my feelings, possible retraumatization, and fear. I had all of this going on coupled with the fact that I had just been released from working in a toxic environment for nine months. When it happened, I felt out of control, and I started feeding more into it, with the anxiety from trauma escalating.

It continued to occur when I moved to the residence that I am living at now. However, I realized how to manage the symptoms better. Instead of panicking more, I started to remind myself that I was fine, and of the status of my present surroundings and situation. This created a calm inside of my brain, and then it would pass.

Stuck Inside Aspect

The stuck inside aspect deals with you feeling like you are trapped inside of your body. People on the outside can see from your facial expression, or the lack thereof, that something is wrong, but they aren’t sure of how to handle it. You feel like your whole body has gone stiff as a board, and you can tell that your eyes are doing something weird. This might sound strange, but I have also noticed that since having trauma, eating certain foods can bring this on.

I was at a worship service with a friend right before Christmas a couple of years ago, and it happened right after I’d finishing eating. I could tell that she was trying to figure out what was going on, because I saw her staring into my eyes, trying to figure out if I was okay. Once again, I grounded myself in my location, and in the present moment, and I told myself that I would be fine, that it had happened before, and to just let it pass. It eventually passed. However, it had definitely caught me off guard.


Have you ever found yourself in the “Stuck Inside” or “Stuck Outside” Aspect of trauma. And if so, what did you do to calm yourself down? What was the reaction of others around you? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Other posts in this series:

The Anniversary Aspect

The Unpredictability Aspect