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Friday, April 1, 2022

Five on Friday: Traumaversery Silver Linings

Personally, traumaverseries haven't been an issue for me. After I survived a trauma, several people told me that the rape would be "the first thing you think about in the morning and the last thing you think about at night for the rest of your life." This angered me so much. It felt like a curse--nothing like words of comfort. 

My reaction was to figure out a way to make that not true for myself. I was ultimately so successful that by the time the second anniversary rolled around, I didn't realize until a few days later . . . the third, a few months later. Now it takes me a few minutes to remember what the date was.

I do understand when other people struggle with traumaverseries, but I think I was able to turn that off in myself.

Or thought I had . . . because when mid-March rolls around and I check my Facebook memories in the mornings, I feel a small sense of dread when I see the start of the pandemic approaching. Oh, there was that last day of normalcy when I took a slew of kids out for shamrock shakes and rolling down the grassy hill . . .  oh, there are the desks I set up in the family room. There's that false hope that this would only last two weeks. 

 "Oh. Maybe this is a sort of a traumaversery."

It feels sort of ridiculous. Why would I feel pangs of grief when our family emerged from this unscathed? Yes, the first Easter without our extended families felt rough. But we got through it intact, all of us healthy and not really any worse for the wear. Maybe it's just this giant bleeding heart of mine feeling the pain for the world. 

As the March days go on, something magical happens in my memories. The pictures reflect our hope and resiliency, the ways we adapted, all the new things we tried, the time we spent together as a family of seven (particularly poignant now that the oldest two are off at college again and honestly probably not going to live here long-term again). I'm reminded of how our community worked together to pitch in and feed our hospital nurse neighbor's family and of just how much baking there was!

The optimist reemerges! I think maybe next year I won't feel so bad when those March memories start popping up again. (But if I do, I'll try to remember I just have to wait a few days for these lovely images to return:) 

Early pandemic silver linings, in images:

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