Over the last week I’ve been dealing with an eye infection. It’s swollen and painful. I don’t want to be seen because I’m vain. So I’ve spent 5 days in self imposed exile. It happened on day 3. I was on the couch watching TV when I suddenly understood. For a moment, my heart stopped. My breath froze, frozen in the tension between the past and present.
Time dilating and contracting.
In the next moment, my breath came too fast. My body was paralyzed but I was still breathing too fast. In some corner of my mind, I knew I had to get into action, that the only way to move the fear, to really understand this trauma and heal it, I knew I had to move.
I made my left arm move, flailing around to find my phone.
Then I had to remember how to contact my therapist… text, email, messenger?
Next, write the message.
Write the message.
Too much to say in a message, so delete the message.
Write it again. Just ask for an appointment.
There’s still too much information in my head. 30 years of trauma, starting to unravel. To be seen.
5 pages later I’m still writing.
Take a break.
It only takes minutes for the panic of realization but it’s a complete restructuring of the self.
My heart stopped during my birth.
I’ve choked on food and needed intervention.
I’ve had fingers crush my wind pipe and arms wrapped around my neck.
All before I graduated college.
I write because it’s how I find my voice. I feel things in my body before I ever understand them. I can’t speak those words. I often find them in the writing. They constantly surprise me.
Writing is healing, connecting.
Sharing grounds us in normalcy. It gives us an audience to cheer us on and remind us we are ok; our trauma my change us but it doesn’t make us broken or less. We write to feel connected and to improve the understanding of our experiences and our community.
Writing helps us understand who we were, who we are, and who we want to become. It is a warrior’s path of healing and emergence.