If you have dealt with trauma and then experienced your life falling apart because of it, you may wonder and fear if that will happen again.
I’ll be honest, starting this post out, and tell you this was a homework assignment from my counselor. He wanted me to write about my current feelings with the anniversary of the death of my beloved grandpa coming up this weekend. (September 10).
It brings back some feelings and memories of a time I tend to want to ignore, however, it can teach me so much.
My life began to fall apart in 2008 because I had been avoiding all my trauma. I was depressed, anxious, and clinging to all I could of this world – which included my job teaching. I had put so much into my work to avoid trauma, that I was burnt out on my job as well.
As we entered September of 2008, my grandpa – who had Alzheimer’s at the time – got a bladder infection and was hospitalized. It was severe enough that he became septic, and it was just a matter of days before we would see him transition to see Jesus.
My grandpa was a wonderful and sweet Christian man. He was the first, and one of the only men, besides ministers, that I heard pray. I can hear him still today, “Our most gracious heavenly Father” was how he always started his prayers.
I remember him reading his Bible when my brother and I spent the night over the weekend, and he would talk to us about God. He prayed with us and shared who Jesus was in real time.
The night that he went to be with Jesus, I had stayed at the hospital and told him it was okay to leave us. I held his hand and let him know he was loved, and we would see each other again. That was September 10, 2008, around 11:30 pm.
The days that followed I struggled to hold it together and I was trying to do it all on my own. I helped plan his funeral and I even spoke at the funeral. I felt sadder than I felt I should have since I knew he was with Jesus.
I could not have told you then why I was so sad or struggling, (besides that grief is real) but now I know it had to do with the fact that I felt my life was crumbling and would never be the same again. Which was true, but I had no idea how to understand or be ok with that fact.
I began to need time off work on short term disability as I began to try to be “ok” enough to work. I didn’t know what I needed to be able to handle my job, or how I was supposed to deal with the memories I had of all the trauma I had endured.
How do you begin to realize that you blocked out so much evil and try to stay connected to those people that caused it at the same time?
You can’t and that is a big part of why my life crumbled. I spent a lot of time on the couch, sleeping, and not caring about work or anything. I could not see how life would get better, and at the same time I had people telling me to either get over and move on, or that I was making it all up.
Plus, staying connected to those that were negative or had been abusers or bystanders hindered me from wanting to acknowledge all that happened or that I felt.
Fast forward 13 years and here I am. I am beginning to work again, and I mentioned yesterday to my counselor that I feared life (mainly me) falling apart again. He said that won’t happen because it already would have by now.
As I thought about that I realized there are a few reasons why “I” won’t fall apart again. The largest being that I am walking through each day and each task with Jesus. I am clinging to Him and not this world now, and He is the one leading and guiding me and providing me with the strength I need.
He also provided me with a counselor that has taught me the necessary skills to deal with the depression and anxiety when they emerge, and to also help me process the trauma.
So, when I do begin to hear the voice in my head that I am falling apart, or life is falling apart, I realize it is a lie. I have the skills I need and if I don’t, I know who to seek out so I can learn how to deal with what may come up.
I also have a Father in heaven that is walking with me and providing me with the knowledge (and others who have knowledge) and strength to do what He has called me to do while continuing to process trauma.
He also understands exactly why I feel the way I do, and He is the same with you. That brings me comfort knowing that my feelings, which at times seem crazy and possibly out of control, are understood.
I can now trust that no matter what comes my way my God has it covered, and He has me protected with His amazing mercy and grace to make it through each day.
This may look different for each person and can also involve the professionals God guides you to as you seek the help you need to process trauma.
I like the saying, “If you pray for rain you need to be prepared to deal with a little mud.” Life will be messy, and sometimes may seem unbearable, but when you fear that it is falling apart, or you are falling apart, call out to God. I promise He will hear you and He will put on His rain boots and walk with you to dry land.
Trust in that today my friends, and as you deal with trauma, know that you are able to face what’s in front of you as long as you depend on the One who created you in the first place- as my grandpa would say, our most gracious heavenly Father.
© 2021 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.