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This is what my therapist told me that another patient called trauma therapy. Just the word trauma does not conjure up warm and fuzzy images. I have been told that to fully process the event, I need to connect to emotions to what was happening at the time. Isn’t that what my mind has been working overtime to avoid doing.

Therapy is so counter intuitive some days. I know that I need to talk about these horrors, yet I cannot change them or make them go away. By talking about some of my trauma, OK let’s face it about 5 %, it has lessened how much it affects me when it pops up. Life is not the same after something happens to you that causes your whole way of thinking to change.

We are not born looking all around us at all times, avoiding places because of memories and feelings, being scared of certain noises because they remind us of something in the past. Trauma changes who we are as people and I do not think that it matters at what age the trauma happens, we are never the same. There is no going back, yet we cannot move forward without thinking of the past. The event/events affect us everyday.

I realize that some people are lucky enough to go through and come out the other side unscathed. I am not one of those people. The scars are deep. I have learned through therapy and my own journey that “hell” takes on many forms. Sometimes it is a nightmare, sometimes it is the phantom pain of my body as it remembers what happened, sometimes it is a flashback, and sometimes it is the inabiility to recall what has happened good or bad. I have lost chunks of my life that I would love to be able to get back.

Luckily, I have support and do not have to go through this journey alone. I have learned to pace myself. At the same time, the times when I have moved backwards are rough and seem to take longer and longer to get through. I have become an expert at avoiding the pain and often switch subjects numerous times just to not get to close to the event.

Physically and mentally, all of this has taken a toll. The funny thing is, I would not change any of it. I have become more empathetic and more aware of people because of my illnesss. I have learned first-hand that forgving is easier than being angry and takes a whole lot less effort. I have also learned that the more stress and anxiety I have, the more my physical pain presents itself. That is not to say that I am anywhere near the end of the tour. I think I am still near the beginning. Walking into the flames is scary and I need my treatment team to help guide me. The hope is that one day I can look back and know that I was able to get through those flames.

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