Yesterday I had a session with my therapist.
I began to open up about something traumatic I had experienced. It’s something that I’ve never had time or space to talk about or think about. Because part of being a Good Christian Girl™ is to keep quiet and keep the peace.
But yesterday, I broke my silence and began to talk about details.
I cried. A lot.
It was a physically exhausting experience. I spent the rest of the day in bed. And my amazing partner in life took such good care of me and let me process and be however I needed.
Today? I’ve gone around the loop of emotions. I’ve felt grief. I’ve felt depression. I’ve felt anger.
Trauma isn’t just something one experiences and then it’s done. It digs its ugly claws into your soul and it holds on tight. It wreaks havoc with emotions. It rewires the brain. It physically infects the body. It travels down family lines. It hurts relationships. It does not give up easily. It does not want to die and so it fights to survive.
But I am a warrior. I am Wonder Woman. I am a fighter.
Yesterday, I looked my trauma straight in the eyes and said, “You can not haunt me any longer.” And I fought back.
The monster isn’t dead yet. It won’t be for a long time. But I will fight.
This fight is of a different sort, however. In place of guns, strength, and steel, this fight requires me to have patience and kindness with myself. I cannot pull this monster out of my soul and stomp it out. I have to kill it with love, kindness, and compassion.
I will listen to my body. Fighting trauma is a physical battle in the sense that it shows up in the body. It shows up in exhaustion, in illness, in real literal and physical pain. I will show my body the kindness it needs when it tells me it has reached it’s limitation.
I will not punish myself for regression, because I know that healing is not linear.
I will not speak harshly to myself, because I know that it is in the cycle of shame and self-hatred that the monster thrives.
I will, as Aundi Kolber puts it, try softer:
“May we try softer with our fear, anxiety + uncertainty. May we remember that the harder the season, the more gentle with ourselves we must become.” -Aundi Kolber