It has been a while since I last posted, because depression, insomnia, and nightmares don’t really assist the creative process. Thankfully, I have some good therapists on my side who have helped me begin the slog through the PTSD that has come as a result of my head trauma and past traumas. One of the big difficulties that I have been dealing with as my brain heals is that things I had successfully suppressed have come bubbling back to the surface. The most significant traumas, not including the aftermath of my accident, are the murder I witnessed at age 12 and having my house set on fire in the middle of the night because of a contract put on our family when I was 13. These hard memories have come back with none of the filters I had successfully used to emotionally distance myself from them.
My times of silence are mostly marked by my desire for distraction from what pops into my head when all activity calms. I have tried attending meeting for worship, but the silence was a deep struggle as I wrestle with my reawakened demons of the past. It has been nearly impossible to enter the silence without the past traumas filling my mind, but now I feel ready to begin again and seek the quiet center. I desperately want to hear the inward voice which calls me to live into my humanity as a bearer of the divine image and to bask in the awareness of divine love. My healing process led me away from participation in worship after the manner of Friends for a time, but as my healing progresses I am finding more of that much needed emotional energy to enter the deep soul silences. My healing journey may last the rest of my life, but now I feel able to take the next step and pick up my calling again.
One of the ways I process emotions is through poetry and song, and I have started writing poetry about my traumas. At the end of this post is my latest which. This poem, describing the memory of a murder as it comes to me most nights in my dreams, helped me recognize the essential loss for me in this event. What follows contains imagery that could be disturbing to you and could trigger traumas related to gun violence.
Reality Fueled Nightmare
like a backfire…but different
more metallic somehow
Out on the balcony looking down
at two men crossing
from a red van towards another with beige stripes
both pull away
a figure… laying,
weakly trying to move.
I run down the stairs
The door opens and I begin to cross towards.
A carmine pool spreads from him
and Denny waves me back. Tells me to go inside.
Stunned, I go inside,
back to the balcony
where I shake and cry and watch.
I see the blood, the dirt, the ambulance, and police.
The dirt where his body lay
absorbs the blood
and with it, a piece of me
my illusion of safety, gone
never to return
in an instant of forced maturity.