Trauma has a way of disrupting and contorting everything so that all one sees is pain, paranoia, danger, and withered hope in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, intrusive memories, and a flight/fight/freeze brain system in need of major repair.
But that’s not all there is.
There are hope and love, still, and the promise of recovery with tears and hard work. Recovery is not always nice or beautiful. Sometimes it’s hard, mundane, and ugly. It isn’t easy, believe me, but it’s still worth it. Even when recovery looks like hiding from the rest of the world because of a random anxiety attack or crying at 3:00 a.m. because of night terrors and flashbacks in your sleep, instead of warm bubble baths and walks outside, it’s still worth it.
For me, I dream of a time in the future where I can be kind to myself without it feeling weird or wrong somehow. I dream of marriage with a godly, loving, patient man who understands both the reality of a healing, loving, faithful God and the reality that trauma comes with an aftermath that could affect our relationship in a number of ways. I dream of having a dwarf kitten with said husband. One with gray fur and white paws whom shall be christened Mittens.
Yes, trauma sucks and disrupts life as you know it, but there’s a strength that emerges from the ashes, courage to be found, laughter to be had. Sometimes we need a reminder of these things. Today, I definitely did. What have you gained from surviving through, and thriving in spite of, trauma?