I set up this blog at the start of the year to share my voice and story but over the last few months i’ve found myself not being sure of what to say. When I have spent so long with my life defined by trauma, and the negative impact that this has had on me, how can I be sure of who I am ‘after’?
I have spent most of this year, after being discharged from hospital, focusing on myself and my recovery. I would say I am in recovery. I know many people don’t agree with that word. They say it is about managing and coping rather than ‘recovering’. But the word gives me hope. I have spent so many years now either in trauma or living with the impact of the trauma. I want to believe that there is a life after. I want to believe that there is a point where I will be free to live my life in the way I want to, rather than being controlled by my past. I have been attending trauma therapy every week and in doing stabilising work and beginning to process my trauma, I would say my past does not grip me as tightly as it once did. I am on the road to recovery, although I still have a long way to go. But in beginning to let go of the ways I have learned to protect myself, and in slowly starting to believe that I can be safe in this world, I have found a part of myself I thought I had lost a long time ago.
I’m not sure what this part of me is. Is it the part of myself that I was able to develop for the first five years of my life where I was lucky enough to feel safe and loved? Is it the person I could have become without all the trauma? Is it a part of my self that has developed itself through all of that? The person I can be when I am free? It hasn’t been long so I am still figuring out who this person is. And I still lose her every now and then when the past takes hold of me again. I don’t feel a tight hold of who I am yet. I feel fragile and lost sometimes. It feels scary and new. But I don’t feel as raw as I did. I am growing and finding strength. I am taking steps forwards into my future and for the first time in my life I am starting to like who I am becoming. I am finding my voice again.