The impatience of healing from trauma

Trauma can feel very debilitating, removing agency and control from us.
So when the waiting on feeling better is out of our hands too, we might just lose it a little.
Be it grief, abuse, physical pain or loneliness, it doesn’t matter what makes us feel powerless.
How does one accept that the aftermath of it can feel just as traumatising?

“They say time heals all wounds,
but that presumes the source
of the grief is finite

– Cassandra Clare

When working through childhood trauma, I spent years waiting for the anger to subside, and the forgiveness to kick in. Therapy, addictions and even backpacking around the world didn’t help.
When my pet passed away recently, I made it through the initial weeks of sadness. I allowed myself to cry, to scream into pillows, to hold my pillow tight all night. It’s been months, and it still hurts.
Is it realistic to expect the hurt to just disappear eventually, or do we just become used to it?

“Scars are not injuries.
A scar is a healing. After injury,
a scar is what makes you whole.”
– China Miéville

Perhaps the pain comes from the expectation that everything will go back to normal.
The reality is that this past, both blissfully naive and painfully romanticised, is gone.
But that doesn’t mean that we’re worse off.
With the acceptance of the new status quo we can keep going, stronger for having made it through.
We can be grateful for who we’ve become without being grateful that this change was necessary.

“Life becomes easier when you learn
to accept an apology you never got.
– Robert Brault

“It’s just not fair!” we might think. It never is.
Once I realised that some people will never see reason, I gave up on waiting for them to fulfil their part, and I took back control of my own life.
Sometimes the apology I was waiting for was from life itself, from any higher power, from society.
And yet, I acted as if I got it.
Surprisingly, as impatient as I am, I did take my time with this. And I still do, each time I hurt.
It might not get easier, but my faith in healing becomes sturdier.

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