I am becoming more and more sensitive to things that happen around me.
I teach Psychology. Having students in my class with an evident history of self-harm is quite literally par for the course. Yet now, when I see these students, I am caught up in the knowledge of my own arms, what they look like; feeling the urge to cut again, before jolting myself back into the room.
Or, when someone uses ableist language, I am catapulted backwards twenty years, a child on the playground, excluded and taunted because she can’t run fast enough.
When someone else’s psychodrama is about parental rowing, I am metaphorically tossed to the floor, as a four-year-old, with my parents towering over me, arguing over my behaviour, family visits, money, work… whilst I curl up, adamant that I am responsible for my own choices. And that these rows are all my fault.
I was that child. I was on that playground. I was curled up on the living room carpet. Years later, it was me who self-harmed to try to deal with these memories.
When I started in the therapeutic community, I was a narrative. A cold, hard, impenetrable narrative that bore little emotion. The past was the past. The details were useful for research, for working with children, but the emotion was absent.
Now, this narrative is my story. Now, when I recall the detail of these events, in TC, or in prayer, I am filled with the emotion of them. I cry, and rock, and cry. And this is ultimately going to help. I have to trust that it will help, as I place the therapists in locus Christi. Trust the pain to God. But it hurts, and it hurts, and it hurts.