Anxiety, full circle, Healing, not-hobbling, perception, PTSD, shadows
As usual I’m trying to write fifty gazillion things and none of them are coming out quite right. It seems my book reading habits (multiple books at the same time with some never quite getting finished) are affecting my writing and so it’s all been a bit of a mushy seven-horse race with no clear winner.
Something like that anyway. I am almost finished writing this piece wherein I get a little whiney about the state of the health care industry but y’all should be glad you’re getting this one instead.
Yesterday was a little different. Maybe it’s because for the first time in about eight weeks I’ve started walking like a normal person again. None of this favouring of one leg or hobbling more ferociously than a grumpy old hobbit (assuming that is, that hobbits hobble, yes?). No strain on my lower back or extra painful left knee as a result of the not-hobbling. Not-hobbling is good. Nay, not-hobbling is great! There should be endless poems to extol the virtues of not-hobbling because being all balanced weight-bearing with the walking is honestly nothing short of a miracle when you’re used to the hobbling walk instead of the not-hobbling. Capiche?
I’ve even been able to start using stairs instead of the lift at work. Fancy, I know! And, a ten minute walk is no longer something to dread. Walking normally? It’s like a hundred kinds of good and yesterday afternoon as I strolled at a leisurely pace towards my massage session I was all looney grins of joy. And not because of Melbourne’s return to the more typical August weather of grey, rainy and dreary, either!
But there’s something else I noticed last night. Or rather, I’ve finally fessed up to myself about it. And here it is.
For the last six months I’ve been working in one of Melbourne’s inner-eastern suburbs. It’s a part of town that if it wasn’t for my job, I wouldn’t have much reason to be here. Not that there’s anything wrong with this part of town but it just isn’t part of my usual territory, you know?
I’m not sure how long I’d been walking up and down the main street – for lunches, to go to the health food store etc – when I first noticed that certain visuals looked familiar…
Because it’s interesting how differently we perceive our environments, isn’t it? When you’re going out to a gig or a club etc, mostly its night time and your main focus is getting to where you’re going. Peripherals are just that. They’re unimportant, except for perhaps the ATM across the street or where to find a cab on the way home. So that’s what stuck out – looking across the road to the ATM and then over and up and then it dawned on me.
Nearly every day, I’ve been walking past the place where the reason for this blog’s existence began. Which is where the start of the story begins.
How about that, eh? I’ve inadvertently (if that is at all possible) circled right back to the beginning, but in the mundane light of day where every shop sign and doorway looks the same. Until you look again and notice those mostly invisible markers of significance.
Once I was sure, yep that WAS the place, I was relieved to notice that I didn’t really care anymore. Still, for no particular reason I’ve avoided processing any of this consciously.
I suppose I thought it didn’t matter. I’d already done a re-visit of this place – for me, conquering physical locations associated with my PTSD has been important (taking the fear out of time and space). And I’d even come face-to-face with my abuser (well sorta) and come out of that okay.
So it was done. It was done, right? Right?
Well, mostly. Tonight, post-massage and feeling decidedly more relaxed (physically) than I have for the last couple of months… I sat there at the tram stop nibbling on some dinner, only meters from the hole-in-the-wall door that leads up to the club where it all began.
And I allowed myself this thought: In that place and on that night, my life irrevocably changed in every way imaginable.
Standing up to throw some trash in a bin, I faced that damn door and felt a little woozy as though I was gonna puke. Only I didn’t.
And yeah, it was over. Sure, I’m still dealing with some of the repercussions with my health and anxiety etc.
But these days, that club holds no more power over me than my abuser does. In fact, I hate even writing the words “my abuser” now, because it’s just not relevant any more but it’s a handy shortcut all the same.
The event that caused my life to explode is done, and there’s nothing more to say.
P.S. Except let the healing continue. Because, if someone had ever suggested to me the many and varied ways in which trauma needs to be healed, I never would’ve believed them. It’s kind of like trying to peel layers of fairy floss… sticky and lacking any clear borders…