Trauma Sticks to Everything
Trauma sticks to everything. Even when you think you've worked your way through it, you find it years later. Like silly putty or slime, like play dough in the carpet, little bits cling to parts of your life you thought were untouched, changing the texture, altering the overall experience, ruining moments that could have been something else. Trauma rears its head to remind you, it is still there, in case you forgot and went on with your life – like a jilted lover, angry that you're trying to move on, trauma won't be ignored.
Learning to dance with trauma, to spin and twirl it this way and that, is a necessary skill, to view it in motion, from behind, from beneath, to fully understand all the ways it slithers through your life, to conceive of all the things it touches. When you think you've put trauma to bed, tucked it in and told it a story, sung it one more lullaby, trauma is there, whimpering in the darkness by your bed, unable to sleep, needing a glass of water.
Does caring for it make it grow, or does compassion make trauma trust us? Does attention to the details make trauma stronger, or does it feel heard? Seen? Listened to? Acknowledged? Who determines the steps of the dance? The cadence? The tune?
When we view our trauma, is it exhausting? If so, why? Is it because of the battles we've already fought, or those yet to come?
Surviving trauma happens in waves, getting out alive, getting through the event, that is only just the first part of it, just the first few steps of a lifelong dance. Dancing in the dark with trauma is a different beast than walking in the light with trauma draped across your back. Swirling through the soup of trauma gasping for breath feels brave and suffocating. Walking through your everyday life with trauma, like a hangry toddler, pulling at your clothes, asking for a snack, whining in your personal space while you try to get shit done feels tedious, but necessary.
Some days, trauma needs you to stay home from work to care for it.
Some days, trauma needs to be put in it's place.
Where does trauma go?