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Facing the Darkest Places of My Mind During Trauma Treatment

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When I arrived at the psych hospital for a workshop, the facilitator prescriptively said, “This is the beginning of your three to five year journey of trauma treatment.”

I said, and I quote, “Listen lady. I’m here for three to five days.”

One long hospital stay and four years later, I proved her right. I am still in trauma treatment.

Trauma treatment is a mixed bag of listening to yourself process trauma and listening to what others hear in your experience. It is to be nakedly honest about your life, so you can point at something and be able to say with confidence, “This is where it hurts.” While my trauma treatment includes medication, mostly it is about ciphering my memories and what I feel about my experiences. It is to give way to the self conscious and discover the secrets living beneath it.

I do well cognitively. I can organize a business, be a journalist, pastor or consultant with some sense of confidence However, my confidence breaks when I am asked to reflect emotionally on my life. I find myself on thin ice when it comes to finding words to describe the toxic memories that captivate my nightmares. To live on the edge of emotion and pain is terrifying.

However, to heal I must be willing to live in this space that holds a foot in the doorway of emotional pain, so that light can come in to the darkest of places in my mind. Trauma treatment is no joke, but I continue with the hope that as I allow light in it will shatter the darkness.

Getty image by izumikobayashi

Originally published: January 27, 2020
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