For most people, they may never get to that process. For many people, thinking so much over every single detail of what they do and how they do it, is too much over-thinking, when life is complicated enough as it is.
But for everyone who has been through trauma, we all go through this process eventually, with or without counselor/ psychologist. We deny what happened, cover it up, find a way to live with it, like a dirty secret, and learn to live with the overflowing ripple effects of hiding it in the corner of our brain.
Until the day comes, where it catches up with us, and we finally start dealing with it. And just like a room which hasn’t been cleaned in years, there is a lot of dirt. A LOT. What happened, how it happened, how we reacted, things we did or didn’t do because of that, guilt, pain, denial, weakness…We don’t want to see those things, which is why they have ended up piling in a corner in a first place. But, sooner or later, we all get to cleaning them.
I got to start doing that 2 months ago, and for these 2 months, for the most part, it seemed like I’m cleaning and cleaning without any obvious effect. Until yesterday that is.
Here is the thing.
When they recommend over and over again in the glossy magazines to do spring cleaning of your house, they never mention how dirty work spring cleaning is. We all want to see our floors and rooms and shelves clean and ordered, but mostly none of us want to drag through mud to get to them, and dealing with traumas is close to our brain’s equivalent to that.
Dealing with my own recovery, I’ve tried to make it clean-cut. Research all I can on the topic, talk to enough people, have good support system, try to take good physical care of myself. But, while none of us want to admit it, recovery, as spring cleaning, is a dirty job. It requires going deeper into our psychology than we would like to, flipping through things that we would like to pretend are not there.
And after all the scrubbing of my soul I did lately, yesterday, I finally started seeing clean surface. It was the first time in months, in years, I really slept. Not to forget or avoid something, not with troubling dreams, not because I was too exhausted or drunk. I just slept, like a baby.
And when I woke up, for a first time, I had energy to start planning my future again, and to see I had one.
For a first time, I looked the color of the sky, and didn’t feel like I was doomed to never enjoy it again.
For a first time, I had the energy to order and clean, and workout, and talk to people, and feel excited about it.
And for a first time in a while, the shroud of pain broke, and I began to see.
I’m sure I haven’t cleaned all I have to, and I have long and bumpy road of me, but I know I made another step. I know it hasn’t been pointless. I know that cleaning unsettling things, even when it hurts like hell and takes forever, it still has a point.
I’m sure I have a thousand more steps to full recovery, but for a first time I’m strong enough to know I can take them, one by one.
I have done more thinking lately than some people do most of their lives, and I’m happy about it. Most of it, the dirt of it, has involved a lot of thinking of my rape. But beyond that, in the tiny part of my brain where I still had hope in tomorrow, I thought a lot of the life I want to have, where do I want to be and what do I want to do. I know how it feels to not have reason to live.
So now that I do, I’m never going to live a life of excuses. I’m not going to work something I don’t enjoy(well, may be temporarily), or lose time being concerned with people I don’t even know. My brain went to way too dark places in these years. If I get out of this, I have no excuses to life unhappily. Life is too short for that.