I’m feeling more vulnerable these days, certainly as I write this because I have been up since 4AM only to find out my flight was delayed 3 hours. I seriously think the airline knows my anxiety around flying and is testing me, it’s horrible.
But in seriousness, since I started blogging I’ve found myself sifting through my own life experiences trying to determine, is this experience meaningful and could it possibly serve others. When I come across a memory that strikes a nerve I try and at least consider it, but truthfully, some of my baggage feels better left packed (and that’s how I know I have to talk about it).
At its worse, my eating disorder thrived off one single message, “you take up too much space”. This message played on repeat as I walked from breakfast to the toilet, lunch to the toilet, dinner to the treadmill and so forth.
I felt and believed that my body was too much, that I took up significantly more space than I actually did and this oozed into all areas of my life in the same way I thought my fat was oozing off my body.
Even today I find it hard to shake, just recently shopping with a friend she yelled from the fitting room, “what size pants did you grab, actually never mind you always get yours so baggy”. She’s right. If I can’t fit another human in my jeans, their too fucking tight for real.
I didn’t just wake up one morning and while making coffee and think that I’m too large or take up too much space, although I would have preferred it.
In high school, somewhere between spending too much money at Starbucks and Art History class my world was shaken. And that’s the thing about trauma, it doesn’t really care about where you are, the trajectory of your life and the goals you might be chasing, it just happens. And after it happens it does a half assed job of cleaning up and your left to deal with the residual.
Roughly 13 years later I’m still cleaning up its mess, except these days it looks like Snickers wrappers and empty cereal boxes. 5 years ago it looked like bloody feet from never getting off the treadmill and years before that it looked like bottles of pills because what Junior in high school has any idea how to clean up the mess that trauma has made.
People cope with trauma in different ways… These days I think it’s significantly less important to re-hash the details of the trauma and all the more important to focus on just how resilient human beings are.
People cope with trauma in different ways. I made sense of and coped with my trauma in the way that my 15-year-old developing brain knew how. The eating disorder became a method by which I could disappear both physically and mentally because It felt safer that way. The haze my eating disorder left me in most days was comforting, I felt just the right amount of numb.
These days I think it’s significantly less important to re-hash the details of the trauma and all the more important to focus on just how resilient human beings are.
My trauma has taught me a lot of things. Certainly how miserable the courtroom can be, but also that my life wasn’t ruined it was changed. I make the distinction because ruined implies complete loss, my life is certainly not a complete loss. While the course of my life changed, my relationship with my body changed, and my perception of things changed, I still consider myself quite alright.
My trauma has taught me a lot of things… my life wasn’t ruined it was changed.
I was able to graduate with my masters, I fell in love with and married a wonderful man who adores me, and I work with hands down the most resilient human beings every single day.
Trauma doesn’t care where you have been, or where you are going. We can’t plan for trauma but we can choose to be resilient in its wake.
Trauma doesn’t care where you have been, or where you are going. It doesn’t care about the odds you already have stacked against you or the people you have in your corner. It’s not going to wait for X life experience to happen or until you’ve really told people how much you love them. We can’t plan for trauma but we can choose to be resilient in its wake.