Finding threads

When your life has been ripped apart, it can sometimes take years to find the threads that used to make it whole. You don’t always find them where you expect to, and it’s possible to create new threads that can integrate with the fabric of your self in ways that add richness and depth of their own.
Trauma varies in the impact it has. While in my case the trauma was a final blow to an already fragile structure, it can and often is the case that a trauma will only effect part of your life. It is, as I’ve previously said, a very personal and unique experience for each individual. However, reintegrating your self is vital to the process of healing. It may seem easier to cut the threads that are ragged remnants from a part of yourself that you knew before the trauma occurred, I’ve done it. Ending friendships, isolating yourself from people who have hurt you whether from ignorance, or inadequate attempts at consolation, sometimes from their own avoidance of you because they are afraid. Trauma can cause immense fear and anxiety for others. As illogical as it sounds, people can be afraid it is “contagious” that if they allow it to touch them they too will be wounded. Alternatively, fear can be a product of not knowing what to say, feeling like they cannot be themselves anymore, that you have changed and are not the person they knew and were comfortable with.
It can be, and often is, asking too much for you to make peace with these people and situations in the aftermath of a trauma. Contrary to what seems common wisdom, there is no time limit for processing trauma. It may be inconvenient and frustrating for those who want you to get on with your life, but the reality is that you as a unique individual will have a unique and individual response to trauma or traumatic events that occur in your life. Friends, family, co-workers, even those with the best intentions, want you to be “back to normal,” both for you and for themselves.
Finding strength again, through therapy, support groups, journaling, whatever tools you can find, is key to being able to preserve these threads that have made up a part of the fabric of your self. Give yourself the gift of compassion, and find support where you can, even if it is a crisis hotline with an anonymous person on the other end of the phone line. It took years to weave the tapestry, beautiful and luminous, that is your self. It can, it will, be whole again with time and help. My hope is that you may find some of that help here. Blessings and peace to you.

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~ by janetlandis on December 12, 2008.

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