1b: a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury.
That is the definition of the word trauma according to Merriam-Webster.
That definition perfectly describes my existence over the last month and a half.
I believe I have been traumatized, not by something someone did to me or by a terrible accident. I have been traumatized by events that were beyond my control, events that have left me feeling broken and scarred.
I said that I would always be honest on this blog, even if it isn’t pretty and happy. This isn’t pretty and happy, so if you’re reading this and you’re looking for that, TURN BACK NOW.
I don’t want to describe the trauma; just know that there was one. It may not have been as bad as being paralyzed in a car accident but it has changed me forever. And that is the scary part. It’s the being changed forever that has left me in a “disordered psychic or behavioral state.”
I am not sure who I am anymore. I look in the mirror and it’s the same face I’ve seen since I was old enough to recognize myself, but I don’t know me. I spent my whole life defining myself as the good kid, the college girl, the Christian girl…but I don’t know her anymore.
Now, don’t get too worried. I still believe in Jesus Christ. I still know that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me. I’m still in college and I’m a relatively good kid?…girl?…woman?
The problem is that I can no longer define myself by those things. The problem is that in one conversation, everything I thought about myself and the person I knew myself to be was swept away. I feel like I was left with an empty chalkboard and a piece of chalk with no clue as to what I’m supposed to be writing. Everyone has left the building, detention is over, yet I’m still sitting at a desk in an empty classroom, staring at the blank black board and wondering “What the hell do I write?”
I don’t know much. I know what I enjoy and what I don’t. I know who my friends are. And I know that Christ died and rose for my sinful self and is constantly redeeming me, even though I don’t deserve it. But none of that tells me who I am or what my purpose is. I still don’t recognize myself.
I do things that I don’t like and I treat people in a way that I know I do not want to be treated. And I hate myself for it. I pray everyday to be a better woman, to be a woman of God, to be a lady of grace, and almost every other cliché thing a woman prays to be. I pray and I don’t really feel any comfort, other than that I know God is listening.
Maybe that’s it. Maybe I won’t know who I am for a while. Maybe I’ll always be searching for and learning who I am. Or maybe I’ll find out tomorrow. But maybe the point is to keep talking. Maybe I’m supposed to keep praying. And maybe I should stop beginning my sentences with maybe.
This is such a grueling process, this growing up thing. My I.D. says I’m an adult, but everything in me feels like I’m 12 years old in junior high and I don’t know where I belong.
I still have hope though, folks. It may be tiny and covered in dirt but it’s hope, living deep down in this battered and broken heart of mine.
And like I said in this post, one day I will be restored. One day I will feel the overwhelming and very real joy of Christ. For now, I’m just walking through fire. But you know what they say about fire:
It refines gold…