Coping with the Dual-Reality of Trauma: Writing is the Release. Reading is the Remedy.
as a child, i didn't really realize how hurtful it was that both of my parents didn't want me. i don't blame myself for still crying about it now.
i distinctly remember people asking me things like how does it feel to not know your dad and i would say it feels regular. it was just that. it was nothing.
For most of my life, when I looked at the word trauma, I thought of a car accident or a house burning down. It wasn't until after college that someone listening to my story said, "You shouldn't be so hard on yourself. You should be proud of how you overcame your childhood trauma." That person was right about me not being hard on myself but I am leery of labeling my escape from abuse, addiction, and abandonment with the term "overcome". The more I read, the more I learn that those of us appearing to have survived and surpassed the unbearable are actually living each day within the realms of a dual reality: "the reality of a secure and predictable present that lives side by side with a ruinous, ever-present past." (p. 197)
The discourse of mental health is gradually becoming in vogue among people of color. For centuries, we were ingrained with the belief that life happens - get over it. This is wrong and results in many of us giving up instead of enduring the additional adversity that one will face on the journey to full acceptance.
For me, it's hard because it's just really confusing. I don't know if I am supposed to forgive and walk away or forgive and re-build. Which option makes me stronger, happier, wiser? My doublemindedness plays tricks on me and I can't seem to choose between the former or the latter without reneging again, and again. And now, because I am doing the work of self-healing, I can't help but to remember eh-ve-ry-thing!
Remembering trauma is equivalent to reincarnation (Cannon, p.186). The coinciding sensations that memories evoke are so real, and the resurfacing of this heartache is more than imagery, it shakes and grabs me in the dark. Blindly, I allow it to chase me into hiding. Hiding, I have come to find, is an anecdote that only lasts for a few days, if that.
This is is why I didn't induldge my shameless pleasure of sleeping-in this morning. I woke, journaled, and read. Writing is the release, reading is the remedy.
I feel better than I felt last night because I am intentional about feeling better. And what I read will prove to be much more potent in relieving my bout of depression than the temporary fix of avoiding it.
"Change begins when we learn to own our emotional brains." (p. 131) The cost of owning our emotions is knowledge. Knowing bears a clarity that yields a freeing ability to understand. I just want to be free.