Have you ever been watching TV or a movie, or listening to a song, and something someone says hits home more than you ever could have imagined? Where it resonates down to your very core? It happened to me a couple days ago. I was watching “Code Black”, a new ER-based television show, and two doctors had both recently lost family members. One of them said something like, “Trauma and pain can either soften you or harden you.” I sat there taking it in, suddenly realizing that my life traumas have greatly hardened me.
I think what trauma does to you has a lot to do with how you were before the trauma. If you were soft before, it hardens you. If you were hard before, it softens you. I’m sure there are exceptions of course but I truly believe trauma almost forces you in the opposite direction. For me, prior to the family estrangements, I was what I believe was soft – cared too much, loved too much and too easily, had high hopes, had dreams to achieve and I believed in all the good in the world. But after? The trauma, it hardened me. It didn’t happen immediately but rather over time. I remember the moment when I knew I was different, when I felt something click off inside me, when I felt a part of me die. That was when the hardening took over and I became a different person:
With all the memories I have lost, that day in my backyard, the day I died and someone else emerged, is burned into my mind, imprinted on my soul. I haven’t much liked who I have been since then – lost, negative, no hope left, dreams lost, self-doubt, fear, quick to anger and impatience, hiding as life passes me by. I jump to conclusions, expect the worst, only see the bad in the world, lost my faith, am suspicious of everyone and won’t let love in – I am hardened.
Oh how I wish I could have been one of those that trauma softened, opened up. Instead, I shut down inside. I had to take a moment and let this truth sink in. I had never looked at it like this before. Now that I am aware of it, it is time to change it. I’m not sure how but I have to. I can’t let this be my life any longer, can’t let this be me any longer.
Since the wedding, I have felt much better, less worry and stress. My mind is clearer. I have noticed though that I am still very impatience and quick to anger. I guess I can’t expect everything to go back to normal so quickly. I have years worth of a specific thought process to change. And I want to – oh how I want to. I didn’t have a choice in becoming hardened; that was completely on a subconscious level. But I do have a choice now!
So I ask you, my dears friends, what has your trauma done to you? Did is soften you – or harden you? It’s a question worth considering and exploring. HUGS to you all!