The Passage Of Time And Trauma

In my thoughts this past few days has been the events of seven years ago. I don’t want those memories in my thoughts – but they persist. Yet I have felt mostly safe this year – with family and long-time friends.

The first night I was here, some of my family ended up having a weird conversation – not about me – in which I overheard them using words that are particularly hard for me to hear right now. I heard words like “rape” and “battered” and “police” and “attacker”…and I froze.

I could not move, I could not ask who they were talking about, why they were having this conversation. I just froze. It passed. It was just a conversation they were having about someone else, perhaps something they saw in the news, and they were just forgetting I was standing there, and that the date of my attack was hovering and bringing everything back to my mind.

But on the whole, I think it has been easier this year. Partly because of my job change I think. When I was dealing with scores of patients and weary with traumatic memories gripping me like a vice – it was hard going. But this sitting and staring at a screen malarkey – it takes zero emotional effort.

The passage of time does help to a degree when it comes to trauma – it is always going to be there – but it won’t always be quite as awful. This year it is not quite as awful. I am just sleepy tired more than anything. But not quite so on edge as normal. That has to be a good sign.