Today I had a major trigger at work. You go through life thinking, oh, I healed that. I moved on. Its ok the past can't hurt you. And you hear something, you smell something, and the muscle memory is right back in your body, a day that changed your life. Changed who you are. And a day that you worked REALLY hard not to let define you as a person. Honestly, I have had MANY days like this. But today brought me back to the visions of a time where I had night terrors and I could smell the scene.
The one today that was triggered was a case that came through this weekend. And when I got to work was the talk of the office. I felt like I was blind sided. It took me so far back I had to sit stunned at my desk for a few minutes until I could catch my breathe. It hasn't left me yet. A few times I cried. And I just have to give myself some room to process a painful memory and walk it out.
The first memory was that of blinding tunnel and then just wanting to be anywhere than where I was at that moment. And forget the smells.
I have always believed that my career was a calling. That the horrible things that I lived through and survived and later thrived made me more compassionate at my job. Especially with victims. And I have often thought that it is a way that my personal brokenness was able heal. You can't really run away from yourself or what you lived through when you see it through another persons eyes. Over the 30 years I have been there I have faced many personal struggles as I have seen it all walk through our doors. But today...I have to really give myself permission to deeply feel what I feel...and get passed it.
When I was 14 I came home to find blood all over my curved driveway. My heart started to panic. Blood all over my white house. Rushing in through the front door was so much blood all over the lime green walls down the hallway. Eerie quiet. I was searching for my family convinced my step brother had killed them all, I rushed to the back yard to look in the pool where I thought everyone would be floating face down....
So much blood you could smell the copper assaulting your nose. No family. I found my step brother in his room where he was trying to hang himself with a belt. I won't go into how my step monster found us! But he was lucky he came home....
Later I found out that my step brother had taken a baseball bat to my half sisters head. You can imagine a head wound and what that looked like coming up on it. We didn't know if she would make it. They thought she was going to lose her eye at the time. I remember telling her not to worry that she could have one of mine ... then she could be like Bowie with two different colors!
Anyway...ghosts are popping up today and I am working my emotions through and feeling more today because my young self had to go into warrior mode and I never really processed it all...I am going to be doing a lot of art around this I think and getting through the reasons I am dealing with this today. To see it through my grown up eyes. To commend myself for getting through it and surviving. For processing the anger I had at the adults in the house that let him BACK in the house and the nights we all slept with our doors locked ... the terror my sister lived through. And years my step monster showing up on my door step with him while my son was a baby, and putting my family at risk, the anger and betrayal... Even later finding out he married a woman with my half sisters name...and later finding out he killed himself and the relief I personally felt. Like I said a lot to process.