Here is something I wrote some time ago when I was journeying through the effects of trauma.
“I’ve been shipwrecked, and now I’m stranded here on this desert island. I’ve learnt survival and self-sufficiency and can eke out a meagre existence. The gulf between me and the rest of humanity seems huge. It’s an ocean of my shame and fear. The lack of understanding from others, the assumptions, judgements, expectations, just make the gulf deeper and wider.
From time to time I throw out a message in a bottle in the hope that someone will pick it up. Some of these, I guess, get lost at sea. Others may make it to shore, but people are busy and have too many troubles themselves to respond or, perhaps, to even recognise the cries for help.
There are moments of connection, like a small boat bringing some supplies and a letter from a friend. My hope of rescue rises. But then the boat leaves again and the supplies run out, leaving me hungry and foraging, disappointed and isolated once more.
Is there someone who will cross the ocean, with love and compassion, to reach me in my isolation and brokenness? Someone who will show me that I’m worth seeking out? Is there someone who will be willing to take the time to listen without judgment, to really hear, and to bridge the gap with understanding? Is there someone who will come alongside and walk with me as I cross back into the ‘other’ world? Will they show me that I’m welcome to come as I am, that there’s a place for me, that there are those who have been eagerly awaiting my arrival and that I have value and significance there? Will they help me know that I belong?”
For others reading this for whom similar feelings are real, I want you to know that you are not alone. Trauma can feel very isolating and I am so grateful for friends who did come alongside me and seek to understand. We all need people alongside us.
(Image courtesy of Sergio Jara, Unsplash)