With every healing and recovery process there are bound to be some setbacks. Monday was a setback for me, but it was also a step forward.
Over the years I have developed coping skills to deal with triggers when they occur. Unfortunately, without going into much detail, the triggers on Monday snowballed and none of my coping skills worked. I know that I am already on high alert because of the work Bonita and I are doing. As Bonita has told me, we are starting to stir up my subconscious and things are bound to come to the surface and get a bit angry. She said that when things become too overwhelming the best thing to do is care for myself in whatever way I see as best, so long as it is not self-destructive. Back in my teens and early 20s, my way of coping was by cutting. Those few minutes of external pain would give me a chance to breathe and momentarily escape the internal torture I was experiencing. I justified it by thinking that I never cut deep and I always made sure to hide it. I know now, and I can’t say this emphatically enough, THIS IS NOT A WAY TO COPE. It is destructive, dangerous, and it doesn’t work. It gives the illusion of momentary relief. It is neither helpful nor healthy. (If you are a cutter, I beg you to speak to someone you trust about it and get help. You are not alone and it will get better.) It took me a long time to realize that.
I am very thankful that I have an amazing boss and work family. My boss understood what was happening and let me take a half day and the members of my work family who knew what happened checked in on me. I was able to go home talk to my housemate/mom (who I am so grateful to have as the anchor of my support system), sleep and recharge my system. It took everything I had to get out of bed after sleeping for a few hours though. I woke up sad from the events of the morning, but thankful that I was able to do what I needed to do to care for myself.
Monday was also a step forward for me. It was the first time in a very long time that I trusted and let someone in, other than my mom or very close friends, to help me with this and see me at my most fragile. I was terrified to do it, but I took a chance and I am happy that I did. The reaction was one of gentle caring, just wanting to make sure I was ok, and later helped to cheer me up. You know who you are…I am so grateful for you in my life and I thank you for being your wonderful self.
Today, I am still a bit rattled by the earlier portion of my week, but I am taking things on hour at a time. I am taking care of myself and finishing up my remarks for the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event on Saturday.
My heart broke yesterday when I heard that a precious 4 year old girl in India died as a result of being raped and beaten. My heart and prayers go out to her family. I hope there is swift justice for the monster who is responsible. I am comforted to know that this angel is now in good company, watching over us all with Jyoti Singh Pandey and the other girls and women, whose names we don’t know, that we have lost to sexual violence in India. Those girls and women deserve better. We all deserve better.