There are days, like today when I sit quietly with my coffee in my kitchen checking emails, or in the sunny corner of my bedroom looking out into my yard, that it hits me. The images come rapidly, as though my mind is fanning through a book. As shock encompassed me that day three years ago, today disbelief shrouds me. Surely this cannot be true. Surely this is not me, my life, our life. How could this have happened?
Though most times now I am able to be detached from the story, telling it as a narrator, waves of connection and with it intense emotion envelop an unsuspecting me and I am left once again trying to reconcile the person I am with the life that I found myself in before. No matter how I try to leave it I cannot rewrite the story line that has been established. I cannot fast forward from twenty one to fifty, cannot erase and write over. As I examine it, turning it over and over and looking at all the facets, observing all the flaws, it remains intact.
I have a sudden understanding of my daughter’s recent plunge back into the depths. She has been coming out of depression and I see more and more she is able to experience contentment, if not joy in bits and pieces, as she reconnects with her own life. Then suddenly she is overwhelmed by feelings she cannot articulate and in an instant she is suicidal once again.
No one talks about the intrusions, waves of shock relived. Trauma, once experienced, is a force that does not ever truly go away. It only lies dormant. In us is a sleeping enemy awakened by a sound, a sight, a smell…a dream, a sensation; people, places. Once roused it will not lay down quietly. The crown of peace is so easily stolen away in these moments our memories pull us back. The invitation extended, the wrestling begins; fighting to win this round. Victory does not come easily and is impermanent.
We resume a little further back than where we were. Though not as far away as when we started, we go on. We go on.