The other day I found myself saying, “I’m starting to get the pieces of me back.” When I sat back and thought about it for a moment I actually realized I’ve been saying it a lot lately.
If anyone has ever experienced trauma, of any kind; physically, mentally or heart wise you know exactly what I am talking about when I say that phrase.
Trauma is a different kind of death, in my personal opinion. Because with trauma a piece of you dies. Maybe it’s your heart, maybe it’s the lack of being able to use vital body parts, or maybe it’s the loss of being able to function with the same mental capacity as before or like others around you. No matter what it is, it’s a loss. And it sucks and it’s painful and you grieve, just like you would if someone you loved died.
You grieve because you do lose someone. You lose yourself or even just pieces of yourself. They either get lost in the mess of the aftermath of the trauma or they go away completely, usually replaced by something else.
I wonder, when Humpty Dumpty fell off that wall how long did it take for them to put him back together? And was he put all the way back together? Wouldn’t there be little pieces that were missing or so shattered they couldn’t be put back?
That’s how I see myself after the traumas I’ve been through. I feel cracked, lacking pieces and unsure if even some pieces were put back in the wrong place. It seems as though I’m still looking and figuring out what’s gone.
Truthfully there have been some pieces that were completely shattered that there is no coming back. But, I have been finding other pieces that fill in the holes. And there also have been some pieces that have taken a lot longer to find, ones I thought were lost for good. But I was pleasantly surprised when I found them.
I always felt bad for Humpty too, in those storybook pictures, he always looked so terrified and unsure. Now I know why. It’s hard to recover from a trauma. Very possible. But oh so very difficult. It is literally like walking on eggshells at first. Terrified of breaking again, knowing your fragility and constantly wondering what will cause you to re-break. Relearning yourself and even the world around you after trauma is very challenging. It takes patience and grace. It takes forgiveness and grieving.
For me it’s been over three years since all of my trauma first started. Where the floor dropped from under me and my world was shattered. I’ve been trying to pick up the pieces ever since. None of it has been easy, most days it is still difficult knowing where my life is now versus what it was before. I grieve constantly for the person that I lost.
But, I am also not a person that stays broken. I’ve felt broken a lot longer than I have wanted but I have fought like hell to find healing and to pick those pieces back up. I have searched high and low for the pieces that I knew I wanted and am figuring out how to fill the holes of the things I lost.
You will never be the same after a trauma, but you don’t have to let it define you as weak for experiencing it. I want to be stronger now than I was before all of it happened. I want to be braver, more confidant in myself, more hopeful, more rooted in the things I believe, more rooted in God, not so naive, more sure of the life I am living, and more intentional of the life I am living. It’s a struggle, daily, to work on these things but I’m not giving up because life after surviving something life altering is a true testament.
Some may gasp at the next statement I’m about to make, but it’s the truth. I am not whole, yet… and it’s not because I don’t have God in my life. Yes He makes me whole, but I am still in the process of letting Him heal the holes that were created by the trauma I experienced. And that has been the beauty through this whole thing. I have found that my mess doesn’t scare Him and I can make statements like “I’m not whole yet” and know that I am still in good standing with Him. I get to be a mess and let Him heal the brokenness so that one day I can be whole again.
The trauma may have happened but it didn’t win, and I am getting the pieces of me back, little by little every day.