Processing Trauma

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoorThe Paris hospital hallway probably wasn’t as long as I remember it being. In reality, it took us 30 seconds to walk down the hallway to my dad’s room. In my memory, that was a 20 minute walk. It was up a hill and through a wind storm and under a screaming sun. It was a hike incomparable to my long distance runs.

The smocks we had to wear, the paper gowns that pretended to keep out germs, took maybe 10 seconds to get on. They felt like a light bristle against my skin, not like a heavy weighted quilt that took five minutes to pull on, which is what seems to be in my memory.

The way my dad looked, having endured the hardest week of his life, was apparently so much better than we could have expected. His muscle mass, his face, his teeth, the way his breathing looked, it was all better than what CJ prepared us for. But my memory will forever be tainted by an image of a broken, battered, and dying dad I call Superman. My memory has a stain the shape of my worst nightmare that reduced me to tears. My legs were shaking and I had to hold onto CJ to keep from falling to the floor. My body felt disconnected to this world and the moment felt like a scene in a movie that was never meant to be made.

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Haley, Meg, CJ, Emily…

picsI’m trying to find words. I feel this urgency to find them because it’s what I do, it’s my thing. I find the words that become hard to find and I write them down. That’s my gift and how I manage.

But it’s getting harder to find words that merit being shared about this situation. If I’m being honest, even though we keep getting good news and we are being so encouraged and supported, I’m finding it difficult to sit down and write something that’s worthy of being read.

I can’t seem to explain.

Then I Face-Timed with Zoe for a while and realized I didn’t have to fully explain because it could never fully be understood, but that didn’t mean I shouldn’t try. Continue reading

Panic, Puppies, and Promises.

picsAs with any post that contains incredibly personal themes, I must preface the blog with this: I am okay and I do not want you to ask me if I’m okay or talk about my mental health to other people without my permission. Good? Good.

So here’s the story.

I woke up and the weather app told me that today was going to be the best day in a couple months. The temperature was a glorious number of 64 degrees and I had my favorite class later. It was going to be a perfect day.

Wrong.  Continue reading

My Pet Dragon

picsA swallow that’s just a smidge too loud. A laugh of someone in the room next door. Pages turning sound like hurricanes. The air is too hot. Your clothes are too heavy. Someone sniffs. How dare they?

Sometimes every little thing, every corner of the earth, has a single goal: to piss you off.

It’s easy to say, “I’m just irritated”. To brush it off like it were a fly landing on your cupcake.

But somehow, that fly has turned into a fuming dragon settling on top of your life, breathing in your air and out fire that burns your hair.

How does no one else see the dragon perched on your shoulders? Continue reading

Let’s Get Vulnerable.

12552643_10205544129589389_6003665567883046988_nI have to give my roommate, Zoe, so much credit for my thoughts. They’re my thoughts, my opinions, my feelings and emotions but more than 80% of the time, conversations with Zoe helps me understand them. I could have a huge, pressing problem that I wouldn’t know about until Zoe helps me sort through my feelings. I’m getting better at it, my emotional maturity is slowly getting higher and my vocabulary to explain my thoughts is growing, but I still rely on Zoe or my counselor to help me through the jumbled mess in my mind. It takes multiple conversation’s sitting on my counselors couch or on Zoe’s bed for me to be able to say out loud “Oh yeah, I’m really insecure about that.” And then Zoe just laughs and goes, “I’ve been telling you that for years.” Continue reading