The stress, hurt, and fear piles on creating a jagged mountain of distress. Then, all it takes is a feather landing on top or a whisper of breath for it all to come tumbling down. The taste of blood in the back of my throat, a raging migraine, and my heart beating out of my chest – the consequences of holding it all in for so long. Afterward, there is clarity and motivation to carry on.
One “black day” is manageable, most of the time. Many of them crammed on top of each other can feel insurmountable. These “black days” have been plentiful recently, and respite is nowhere in sight. Instead of feeling desperation and defeat there is numbness. Even anger is unable to be roused leaving a sense of complacency and acceptance. There is still hope for the seed of happiness to sprout and grow, but for now, it is firmly buried under the weight of too many “black days.”
Imagine if we could see the emotional pain and scars represented on the skin of those around us. Festering, oozing, open sores on the skin of those still trapped in their pain and black and blue bruises covering the bodies of those beginning to heal. What about those with scars? Some may hide the scars, embarrassed by their pain and past struggle even though they had to be so very strong just to survive. Those with scars that show, uncovered in the sun, for all to see may be the strongest of all. These are the scars of people who were strong enough to survive, heal, and continue living despite their past. How different would we relate to people if we could see their internal pain? How different would we present ourselves if our past was visible on our skin?
This recent struggle is overwhelming and at times, unbearable. It feels like running a marathon and sensing the finish line is within reach, but suddenly being forced to run with two broken legs. It is the exhaustion setting in along with the absence of rest that weighs so heavily on the body and mind. There is no option to quit. There is no option for failure. I will crawl if I must, dragging these broken and bloody legs behind me to claim the prize – healing, rest and most of all, peace.
I first learned about the idea of traumatic memories being difficult to explain with words in relation to young children. If we experience trauma at a young age (before we learn to talk), describing the experience with words is very difficult. I didn’t realize that no matter what age trauma is experienced, it is difficult to describe with words because the memory is more of a feeling. No wonder we struggle to explain how it feels. The words just aren’t there.