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Alone. At the end of the day.

Last updated on January 31, 2023

The toughest part of my day is at their end, especially on days I’m not completely worn out by a shift at work. I am not afraid of the dark any longer. For the most part trauma dreams aren’t a constant in my life now. What I do fear still are the triggers in a new day, what deep and wide awakenings will come tomorrow.

I’ve been doing some type of trauma work since my teens although it’s not a straight line. Every abusive relationship or over-medicated-stint or 3-4 year attempt to be someone I am not stalled my growth with another detour. But still…

I wish it seemed easier after all this time has gone by.

Today I spent time soaking my feet in sunshine. And cucooning on my bed (once a scary place now the safest place in my world). And then I ventured out into my practice of “being” in my the rest of my home a little after that. It’s my usual one-day-a-week recovery-day that I set aside without other expectations. It was wonderful. The joys were small and quiet and waiting for me just as on my recovery day last week. A new experience of self care consistency. I love it!

All my kids checked in with me in their own ways today too. Even my grown-up daughter, married and moved away now sent me a sweet message.

In all that goodness I experience immense gratitude, and complete astonishment that this exists—almost like heaven on earth in small pieces—and at the same time, right next to me is this other companion. Grief. Brokenness. Healing scars…the kind that still twinge and the ones that ache, and zing and twang into deeper places.

There is a saying in Orthodox Christianity about bittersweet joy or joyful sorrow. I think life in the process of healing might always be a bit of that.

In my childhood I was taught never to allow myself to fall sleep unless I had confessed every possible sin from that day or else I might not be saved if the second coming or some persecution arrived suddenly during the night. Every angry thought or mean imagining or wish for anything evil (that list was endless and specific and ranged from earrings to bouncy music to movies, fiction, Disney, friends or a “normal” school and on and on) must be specifically apologized for or a person could miss out on heaven.

That long-left-behind childhood habit haunts me a little yet today. I take stock, do a “personal inventory” in the 12-step vernacular, and always vaguely battle thet long-list a bit at the end of my day.

Still highly allergic to regular nightly prayers or morning prayers (YouTube readings help me in this vain immensely) after a childhood of forced family worship and morning devotions I rely heavily now on the simplicity of saying “Lord have mercy” at the end and at the beginning of everything—days and nights included. This short circuits my ongoing temptation to go back to those useless lists and gives me back into the hands of my Creator who I believe is more loving than almost everyone who first tried to teach me about him.

Sometimes I’m more aware than at other times what a miracle it is that I’m still a Christian.

Glory to God, the place I find deepest, quietest rest, and the Source of all healing.

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