So I read a blog today (you can find it here) and it really got the gears turning! Can you really return to former Self after trauma? Do you really want to be that person again? One can recover and become a stronger more resilient Self.
I remember many of the same things she shared. For so long I held it all together, inside. It was as if I was filing everything away, dealing with it when I could but needed to maintain my sanity and be cautious of how to proceed so I just compartmentalized and would process the pain when I was alone. The day it all finally fell apart it felt as if someone had taken the card catalogue at the library (if you’re old enough you remember those) and dumped it all out in one large pile for me to sort out and put away. As I sat trying to clear the clutter, I realized I no longer need to keep things filed away, I could deal with each card, every memory, the words, the wrongs, the pain, and face it openly then discard the useless rubble that remained. I remember in the first few days and weeks feeling so disassociated with life when I was in public, as if I had never been more fragile but found the most amazing thing to be happening. It seemed like I was seeing kindness in the world, everywhere I looked. I am a big believer in putting kindness out there, take time to hold open a door, smile at people, offer kind words to all whenever possible, and it seemed like all of the sudden all the gestures I had spent a lifetime into sending off into the world had returned to me. Funny how you can find grace in the face of a stranger.
I remember my aversion to physical closeness. A friend used to tease me a bit about it, not really understanding while another friend never asked, as if she just understood. I was so afraid if I was hugged I would crumble to pieces, never being able to regain myself, as if all the kings horses and all the kings men could do nothing. I remember the first time I stepped into the embrace without reservation, later realizing it was the first time I could remember hugging someone and not being afraid to lose my composure, I was forever changed that day. It was as if my soul had been told to shift a bit, to pay attention, to be open to how things shall change; words escape how to truly explain this.
I have joked before with friends that we are much more like animals then we realize; equating myself to an old mutt which had been kicked a lot by its previous owner and although I have found a good home now, I still flinch from time to time. I see several traits where I can find similar analogies with those close to me. I know the adage old habits are hard to break is so very true but learning to trust and where I can place my loyalty has been a blessing yet I still have a distance yet to travel.
“Kindness gives birth to kindness.” ~Sophocles