One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. ~Andre Gide
This past weekend I went back to the university campus where my partner and I were attacked. It was something I did not want to did. It was something my therapist thought was critical to do.
Exposure therapy - losing sight of the shore for a very long time.
Things had changed on campus. The once very secluded area was not as secluded any more. Still, I walked the route and knew the spot immediately. The memories flooding back faster than I could process them. Flashbacks coming back hard. Debilitating, bitter, suffocating. The place where I lost half my heart and my foundations crumbled. This is the place I relive everyday yet I had never felt so lost.
Afterward we went to the church I used to attend there. The church I stumbled into when I had no where else to go. The church that gave me a safe harbor when nothing in my world was safe. Sanctuary. I sat for a long time, once again soaking up that sacred space. And thinking about how much I have to be thankful for now.
I know that I will be on this voyage for a while longer before I discover those new lands. I know that there will still be days when I am feeling hopelessly lost and flailing, when I want to give up. But I also know that there is a whole crew of people who will not let me drown.
- the readers of this blog who have prayed for me, encouraged and supported me either in comments or emails or in their private thoughts or with virtual tea (love it!). Your continued support has held me up in more ways than you will ever know.
- my friends who have been so very patient through my moods, and depressions, and lapses in upholding my end of friendship. They have kept my head above water and never, ever let go, no matter how many times I began to sink.
- Martha who every day lives with the ghost of my past with generosity and understanding. She has allowed me to take this journey even though it puts a tremendous strain on our family, holds me through the nightmares and crying jags. She is who always gives me a safe place to come home to and still manages to make me laugh.
- And my therapist who convinced me that PTSD is not a final destination. Who has pushed me beyond my limits but always held onto me while my body was racked with weeping or I thought I was losing my mind. She has asked me to take leaps of faith, and taken the leap with me every single time.
I know I still have miles to go. But for those of you who have often been my lifeboat or my guiding light while I am still finding my way to this new shore, I am eternally grateful. Thank you for sharing my journey.