After combat: when the past feels more real than the present

Posted: April 6, 2015 in Coming Home, Courage, Families After War, Healing from War, Post War Life, PTSD, Warrior Identity

We spend a lot of time thinking that we need to let go of the past. “Let it go” (oh, god, don’t get me started on that refrain, lol!)…is what we hear over and over. “Move on.” “Leave it behind you.” “Try not to think about it.” “That’s not who you are anymore.” These are phrases that are well intentioned and often eventually work for broken hearts, break-ups, job losses, and personal disappointments.

They don’t work for combat vets.

So much of our healing efforts to “move on” from the past revolve around assuming that we need to separate ourselves from what happened back then and make it less a part of who we are now. The only problem is this doesn’t work when your job was to kill and maim people. Or when you’ve created or witnessed desecration. Or when you’ve been the perpetrator or victim of torture or abuse. War is ugly, it’s rank, it’s humanity that has lost our sense of our Selves, a time of suspended perception and surrealness. To anyone outside the warfighter community, war is something to run far away from.

Not to warfighters.

To be a warfighter is a spiritual calling. It’s not just something you do, it’s who you are. You decided before you were born into this lifetime that you would accept the role of warfighter, that you would carry the burden of being a death-bearer, that you would carry the weight of that level of spiritual responsibility.

It’s not just something you do for a few years and then “leave it behind.”

Why? Because it is part of who you are in this lifetime and may very well be part of who you have been in other lifetimes.

What happens usually? Warfighters come back from combat, are done with their active roles as warfighters, and settle into the boring routine of civilian life. It’s unsatisfying, even though you know you are grateful and you should be content with peace. You try hard to convince yourself that you need to move on. Your therapist works with you to “let it go” and most everyone assumes when you take off your uniform for the last time, you transform into a civilian. Yeah, right.

You’re here, but not here, aren’t you?

You know how you spend so much time lost in thought, remembering war? How easy you slip into who you were then, those experiences, those memories, those feelings? People around you say you seem like you’re somewhere else? And the past feels so much more real than the present?

I know you know. It’s so easy to slip into that past life.

Civilians and many therapists do not realize that you’re not just remembering, you’re re-experiencing. You’re back there. Every part of you. You feel who you were then, you feel that identity, you feel the emotions, it’s all right there, in you. You move back and forth between that past life as a warfighter and your present life now. One warfighter put it this way: “It’s as if I turn my head to the left, I’m fully back there. If I turn to the right, I’m here. It’s that easy to go between two very different realities. And it’s even harder yet to realize that they’re both the same me.”

The reason it’s important to distinguish this is because the idea of “letting it go” or “moving on” assumes that you can separate yourself from yourself. This is not a memory issue, guys, this is about who you are. Your identity.

We need to stop trying to push the past away, stop trying to exclude it from our sense of Self and do the opposite. Expand and widen our concept of our spirit/soul so that it’s vast enough to include the past and the present as valid parts of who we are.

Healing is not about getting rid of all the pain, it’s not about shedding your sense of identity, it’s about becoming whole.

Whole equals the sum of all parts. Whole contains the dark AND the light. The joy AND the pain. Who you were then AND who you are now. Realize that you are an eternal being that encompasses all of the experiences you have ever had and that, despite and because of it all, you are here. Those painful memories hurt, but if the actual events didn’t destroy you then, the memories sure as hell can’t now. You don’t need to fear them.

What you do need to do is realize that you will always be a warfighter by calling. It’s who you are. You may never experience combat again, but that doesn’t mean you are done fighting. Integrate this part of you, don’t try to eradicate it.

Look for ways to put the spirit of fighting for something to work in your current life. This is about energy. Focused energy that challenges your limits, stretches your beliefs in what you can do, and gives you a sense that your presence here still matters. The past is always going to linger, it’s going to pull you into it, it’s going to be a part of who you are. But the past is not ALL of who you are either.

We need to remember that we are still here because we need to live the life we have now.

And that’s the hardest part. Sitting in the present when you feel so disconnected. When everything that happened back then feels so much more real and vivid and meaningful than where you are now. (This feeling, by the way, is hard for families to understand because to them it feels as if you don’t value them enough. I wish families of warfighters could understand that in so many ways warfighters feel as if there are two versions of themselves. And that isn’t because there is something wrong with them, it’s because the nature of being called to carry the weight of a warfighter’s life is not something you ever just “move on” from or “let go” of. It’s seared into your soul’s DNA.)

You have a life to live now. You don’t have to have it all figured out. You may be stranded, wondering what’s next in terms of career, relationships, purpose. You may be reeling from the intensity of your combat experiences and just beginning to edge toward sensing that you are actually here and now.

You need to find ways to come back to the here and now. We can do this by becoming mindful and grounding. To be mindful, you intentionally focus on the present. To ground, you can do a variety of techniques. For example, choose an object — a stone, a photo, something that connects you to your life now –and focus on that object. Pick it up, feel it, notice it — it will bring your attention back to the present. When you do this, take time to name several things you are grateful for. This will help you to start feeling more emotionally connected to the present. (To learn more on how to ground, see Grounding Techniques)

It’s time to stop believing that you have to let go of your past in order to be who you need to be now. In fact, your past is the most valuable thing you possess. It is yours alone, unique to you. You need it, to be you in this world.  To fulfill your soul’s mission in this lifetime. So focus on accepting your past as part of your soul’s journey and let it teach you about your Self. In the big picture of this lifetime, what happened is part of your Story. Your Story doesn’t own your life, you do.

It’s time to see the past and the present in a new way.

 

Comments
  1. Brandon Marsico says:

    I am reading these articles and am seriously in tears right now. These articles have been describing to a T everything that I have been experiencing since being in combat in 2008. It’s reassuring to know that I am not just fucked up in the head and that I am not the only one experiencing these feelings.

  2. Dani says:

    Wow! How emotional! I am literally in tears. I recently started dating a soldier who was in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2008 and I can’t even imagine what he went through. He warned me that he has some really bad days that he goes into a shell, sometimes for 2 or three days and asked me not to take it personally. Thanks to your article, at least now I have a better understanding of what he’s feeling and I will be patient when those days come.

    • Reader says:

      Hi.
      Tonight, I read this article again. I’ve read a lot of them. Like Brandon, I’ve cried through some, honestly, I think I did w/more than not. But, tonight, I was just feeling kind of numb. That’s no accurate description, but it’s the best I’ve got rt now.
      But, when I read the comment by Dani, I started to feel. Now, the tears… See , I never thought anyone could want me as a survivor of combat. Here’s a lady trying hard to stay with her guy, knowing it definitely won’t always be easy, that it may be harder than some other relationships…

      I just want to say, kudos to her guy. Because he’s got the guts to share with her the truth, exact words used aside, he basically found that warrior within who has what it takes to honorably tell her he’s vulnerable. There are times when life may feel overwhelming for him. It does for me. But, I have yet to tell any kind of significant other in my life that it’s not always going to be easy, that there will be times, places, things, words, situations that trigger very strong emotions in me that I don’t yet know how to deal with; or, like with her guy, there are times I just feel the need to be alone, for days.

      No. So far, when my”stuff” has started to show up, that’s about when I’ve let somebody down, saying things like, ‘I just don’t think this is going to work out.”
      Honesty. I need to live by and with it as part of my creed.

      Trained to live honestly and honorably, I need to find the courage to let people who care about me know that I do hold a Lot of pain, and Have To learn new ways to express who I am, that I’m trying.

      First, it seems like I need more convincing that I’m not being weak, or demonstrating incompetence just because I’m not”over” my past, and have not yet found out how to express or even well identify who I am today.

      Brandon, Bro., you are doing your Country a great service by telling people you cry. Man, we All NEED TO KNOW THAT IT’S OK TO CRY, male or female! It’s ok to feel.
      Dani’s boyfriend, Thank you for being honest… WE Are All ROLE MODELS For the people around us, whether we see it or not. And, Dani, Thank you for staying with a man who may be a great life partner for you. His honesty is a good sign. I’m not saying stay with anyone else to help him heal, if that’s your primary reason. But, if he’s good ro you, treats you with respect, and continues to be open about his needs in dealing with life after combat, while able to hear out your needs and to honor them as we as you, he could be a keeper.

      I really never seriously entertained the idea that I could be a good spouse, in a healthy, mutually loving, respectful, honest, honorable, communicative relationship. I’ve felt incapable, unworthy. Being honest with someone who really cares for me, about my Vulnerability (Deep Breaths), as messed up as it may seem, that never was something I saw as an option.

      This article, and the Response Section, like with the other articles, is very helpful to me. Thank you once again for your writing this in a place that’s accessible to so many. Today, I told several people about Lifeafterwar.org

      There’s a”Kermit the Frog” song, called, “It isn’t easy being green.” It sort of fits this whole military, post combat theme, in my mind, in more ways than the color of our uniforms… It’s easy to feel different, other than, almost (?) as if we’re seeing ourselves…Wait, let me speak for myself: as if seeing myself as still in uniform, at times with my face greased up, wearing camouflage, an odd one amidst so much color. Yet, in camouflage, real or imaged, I feel invisible to others. Part of me wants it that way. But, the part that’s present wants to belong, even if it’s going to mean sharing more about my life, emotions included as a must, than I ever believed I cld or wld. All of this feels new (another use for the word, Green)…

      So, it’s not and won’t be easy: Was combat? Did I ever expect it to be? No. Did I expect to find it so hard after it’s been over? No. So what? So the F what!!! Who said Life was going to be easy? I never heard that. Experience certainly didn’t say that. Though there were some times when it seemed I’d caught a wave and could ride that in a smooth glide for the rest of my life: Surprise! It’s Never All going to be easy.

      _____! I’m starting to write a flipping Book here. Understand if this doesn’t get posted. But, you sure have been hitting my”buttons”. I never realized that could be done in a good way. Thanks! I’m out for now, R.

  3. Reader says:

    Thank you

  4. Reader says:

    I’ve been living in a body-mind-soul afflicted by “Gulf War Syndrome” (which in my case is the generally terminal, Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy) for longer than not. In 2001, I was put in a nightmare of a nursing home to die. And, while there, Everyone I loved and believe(d?) love(d) me, left me.

    Now I’m out and working toward building friendships and family like relationships, while trying to figure out who I am now, how to love, accept and validate myself, praying for a full healing, in need of help re letting go of the results, the future as well as the past (or, well of the past)!

    Too often lately I’ve been thinking, “I hate my life. I need a gun.” But, it’s not me that I hate, it’s being unable to do some of life’s most simple tasks, not knowing when or how the conditions will change: The Mito disease is affecting every part of my body, life, identity, w/many sub-diseases & disabilities; &, with that I’ll include my PTSD, as all phys & mental health or dis-ease are always intertwined/part of every one whole person’s life experiences).

    I hate (i.e., I fear) because I’m used to it. I’ve known fear as more justifiable than other experiences coming from around me when hiding within, where I’ve held what have been secrets, unwittingly expecting more of the same. This served well to save my life before. Now? It’s serving to do precisely the opposite, calling into my life what I believe to be ahead:

    This is a grave danger when I continue to expect attack, theft, insecurity, lack of comfort and safety, As If undeserving to have those basic human rights–Why?–Because that’s what mom n dad said thru word and deed? Because combat only Seemed to reinforce this set of expectations and beliefs? Because I never challenged that message so deeply before! Here, I am being offerred an opportunity to challenge such muck now.

    Put another way, fear/hate has bn my own interpretation of what being disabled/(&) sick have Seemed to mean in my life; of what being traumatized has Seemed to mean in my life; how I’ve felt damaged as a human, as if less than human, less worthy, or simply unworthy of being honored, loved, accepted as the human being and the soul in me.

    This is a soul that I have hated as if an enemy for allowing me to feel So Much suffering(!)While hoping, even now, however vaguely envisioned at this moment, to become with n thru the life in me that who I want to transform into. At the same time my more primal reaction has been desire to escape the pain I’m in (fueling that sense of hatred held in while taken out on myself), rather than facing it with acceptance and love that I Can incorporate as parts of who I am & Can Be; using the energy expended long enough on self-harm (incl. that w/ opposite intentions as by living with fears no longer needed here) to seek and find ways to be more freely me, All in all.

    The desire to escape my pain and, honestly, my fears, with suicidal ideation having been Part of my life for a very long time, I ask myself, “Am I happy that I may be the longest living survivor of this disease?” Not nearly enough. The idea of using mindful gratitude appeals to me. Yet, I have felt dominated and lost in a body that doesn’t always feel like it’s mine anymore.

    Here, it’s impossible for me to ignore the correlates between my experiences of ongoing Trauma and my physical ailments. Feeling as if I’m lost in this world leads me to the concept, too, of having lost touch with my soul (literally and as imagined, sensed, felt). This is explored in the book Close to Home, available via Amazon, & this website.

    Freed from the nursing place, all of my feelings seem so raw and unsettlingly ready to be expressed. The person who felt like two people mentioned in this Blog Post, I could relate with. There has been the past me, and the present one; the one shown to others, and the one who feels so deeply vulnerable, experiencing not only my own pain and fears/(&/or rage, hate) but often that of others, too.

    Usually I feel strongly that I am who I am, no matter who I’m with… Here & now, I’m seeing that that is generally true, except when I’m physically alone, where & when the most vulnerable parts of who I am come out in ways I honestly fear to let others see. Oh…man, yet more evidence that I Am irrefutably Human!

    As uncomfortable as I can be with my vulnerabilities, it’s hard to disagree that we are all still alive for reasons, good ones. But, trying to figure out those reasons has been exhausting. I would like very much to be loved as I am, for my heart n spirit. If or As I choose to offer this love and validation for& of who I am, the love I’ve needed will have begun being received…

    I will need to learn to do a better job of loving, accepting, and validating myself, focusing more on the good in my life and what I want, than on what I don’t sense as parts of my life yet or anymore, before I can more ably receive/accept love and so many Good people, places, situations, things awaiting my Open welcome to enter into my life, the life that’s better than I can dream.

    Sometimes, I feel a sense of purpose returning. Lately, extra sick, and “living in the past” too much (not with visions of the good parts, but the opposite). So, who am I? How do I accept, receive/& integrate all of the facets of my life/self, who I am, with love?

    How will I make the most and best of the life I have, one day at a time? How will I finally shut up the voice in my head that says, “I don’t belong here, not like this!”? Right now, I am “like this.” And, yet numerous people seem to like me very much. What if they’re right, and I’ve been wrong in seeing myself as unworthy of love, kindness, affection, Self-Care, incl., receiving the care of others???

    I still feel like two people, at least. The Who I Was is gone, in that I can never be That person ever again. Only now am I beginning to accept this. Yet, who I was is still a part of me, who is???

    First response: “I don’t know.” ‘An easy attempt at avoiding the Q just posed.
    Who Am I? (Positive Characteristics):
    * Compassionate
    * Intelligent
    * Kind
    * Loving
    Whoa! Those are important identifying traits! Yet, where is that compassion and love For myself, when I’m flashing back, or headed that way? Is it with the parts of my soul that feel empty, broken?…the parts of “me” that fear has incited myself to hide from basically everyone? Of course it is. Love is everywhere, but most useful in my conscious life when I’m aware of the care, waiting to be found instead of hiding with my ‘scared kid place.’
    HEALING IS POSSIBLE FOR ME, FOR US, NO MATTER HOW “BAD” OUR HANG-UPS OR HOLD UPS MAY BE… NO MATTER WHAT!

    “Power of Love and Good For All, Pervasively, Infinitely, I’ll just call you ‘God’ because it’s easier, I need your help, and help from others, too. Apparently I’ve been leery of trusting you from places inside of myself that feel the most fragile (even here, I cringe realizing that That word, fragile, at all applies to me). Yet, as a human it does and always will…

    SO WHAT! LIVE YOUR LIFE! You are Not Alone, so Stop Acting as if you are! Right now, you are typing as part of connecting to other humans who do and will care about you, whether having read this far or not.

    You are here, still alive, despite so many worldly odds against that being true. So, Live Your Life! Ask for help! You just did it before your prayer there, by loggin on here! And, you Can do it again. I expect this of you, as a child of Mine, who like every other, you will ever require help.

    This vital fact is part of what allows healing relationships, the kind you have feared to enter so closely that rejection has Seemed it would be a life taking thing; too painful to bear.

    So, ask for help, knowing that you don’t yet have as much practice in such soulful connections as you desire: Not having yet Mutually shared love in your depths because you have hidden parts of who you are and ever will be, denying access of Love into parts of your soul still in desperately in need of its healing power, and so remain As If Alone in too many respects. What do you think????

    If, “Yes,” reread the above. Reread the Blog. You Are Loved!

  5. Reader says:

    I’ve been living in a body-mind-soul afflicted by “Gulf War Syndrome” (which in my case is the generally terminal, Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy) for longer than not. In 2001, I was put in a nightmare of a nursing home to die. And, while there, Everyone I loved and believe(d?) love(d) me, left me.

    Now I’m out and working toward building friendships and family like relationships, while trying to figure out who I am now, how to love, accept and validate myself, praying for a full healing, in need of help re letting go of the results, the future as well as the past (or, well of the past)!

    Too often lately I’ve been thinking, “I hate my life. I need a gun.” But, it’s not me that I hate, it’s being unable to do some of life’s most simple tasks, not knowing when or how the conditions will change: The Mito disease is affecting every part of my body, life, identity, w/many sub-diseases & disabilities; &, with that I’ll include my PTSD, as all phys & mental health or dis-ease are always intertwined/part of every one whole person’s life experiences).

    I hate (i.e., I fear) and fear so often so much, esp of wht I hold inside because I’m used to it. I’ve known fear as more justifiable than other experiences coming from around me when hiding within, where I’ve held what have been secrets, unwittingly expecting more of the same. This served well to save my life before. Now? It’s serving to do precisely the opposite, calling into my life what I believe to be ahead, things and people to be feared, while the opposite of That is what I really need:

    This is a grave danger when I continue to expect attack, theft, insecurity, lack of comfort and safety, As If undeserving to have those basic human rights of safety, security, trustworthy relationships, love–Why?–Because that’s what mom n dad said thru word and deed? Because combat only Seemed to reinforce this set of expectations and beliefs? Because I never challenged that message so deeply before! Here, I am being offerred an opportunity to challenge such muck now.

    Put another way, fear/hate has bn my own interpretation of what being disabled/(&) sick have Seemed to mean in my life; of what being traumatized has Seemed to mean in my life; how I’ve felt damaged as a human, as if less than human, less worthy, or simply unworthy of being honored, loved, accepted as the human being and the soul in me: My interpretations whether taken on from others or not.

    This is a prt of my soul that I have hated as if an enemy for allowing me to feel So Much suffering(!)While hoping, even now, however vaguely envisioned at this moment, to become with n thru the life in me, and the person who I want to transform into frim here. At the same time my more primal reaction has been desire to escape the pain I’m in (fueling that sense of hatred held in while taken out on myself), rather than facing it with acceptance and love that I Can incorporate as parts of who I am & Can Be; using the energy expended long enough on self-harm (incl. that w/ opposite intentions as by living with fears no longer needed here) to seek and find ways to be more freely me, All in all.

    The desire to escape my pain and, honestly, my fears, with suicidal ideation having been Part of my life for a very long time, I ask myself, “Am I happy that I may be the longest living survivor of this disease?” (The Mito. With the PTSD)– Not nearly enough.

    The idea of using mindful gratitude appeals to me. Yet, I have felt dominated and lost in a body that doesn’t always feel like it’s mine anymore. Here, it’s impossible for me to ignore the correlates between my experiences of ongoing Trauma and my physical ailments. Feeling as if I’m lost in this world leads me to the concept, too, of having lost touch with my soul (literally and as imagined, sensed, felt). This is explored in the book Close to Home, available via Amazon.com, & this website. Here it’s a free download, but if you can afford it, I’d recommend buying a hard copy.

    Freed from the nursing place, all of my feelings seem so raw and unsettlingly ready to be expressed. In there I was surrounded by death, and its Actual threat… The person who felt like two people mentioned in this Blog Post, I relate with. There has been the past me, and the present one; the one shown to others, and the one who feels so deeply vulnerable, experiencing not only my own pain and fears/(&/or rage, hate) but often that of others, too which I have not always or usually sought out to deal with “on my own.”

    Usually I feel strongly that I am who I am, no matter who I’m with… Here & now, I’m seeing that ths is generally true, except when I’m physically alone, where & when the most vulnerable parts of who I am come out in ways I honestly fear to let others see. Oh…man, yet more evidence that I Am irrefutably Human! It’s a Good thing. Part pf me knows this! I’m jst hoping for thr rest of me to get on board with this healthy human living boat that we’re all on & in.

    As uncomfortable as I can be with my vulnerabilities, it’s hard to disagree that we are all still alive for reasons, good ones. But, trying to figure out those reasons has been exhausting. I would like very much to be loved as I am, for my heart n spirit. If or As I choose to offer this love and validation for & of who I am, the love I’ve needed will have begun being received more by myself, to then be shared yet more effectively. How cool that wld be!…

    I will need to learn to do a better job of loving, accepting, and validating myself, focusing more on the good in my life and what I want, than on what I don’t sense to be parts of my life yet or anymore, before I can more ably receive/accept love and so many Good people, places, situations, things awaiting my Open welcome to enter into my life, the life that’s better than I can dream.

    Sometimes, I feel an awareness of purpose returning. Lately, extra sick, and “living in the past” too much (not with visions of the good parts, but the opposite). So, who am I? How do I accept, receive/& integrate all of the facets of my life/self, who I am, was and will be, with love?

    How will I make the most and best of the life I have, one day at a time? How will I finally shut up the voice in my head that says, “I don’t belong here, not like this!”? Right now, I am “like this.” And, yet numerous people seem to like me very much. What if they’re right, and I’ve been wrong in seeing myself as unworthy of love, kindness, affection, Self-Care, incl., receiving the care of others???

    If I will accept that as reality, I stand a better chance of quelling that voice of negativity in me. But, to do so with Finality isn’t likely. It’s more likely that That voice is one I’ll need to grow to gently accept and let go of when it rises up again. That voice isn’t definitive of me even when it seems to be. I Can choose to change the voice, the words, the tune of my life which helps me to move along for better or worse; the choice, my own…

    I still feel like two people, at least. The Who I Was is gone, in that I can never be That person ever again. Only now am I beginning to accept this. Yet, who I was is still a part of me, who is???

    First response: “I don’t know.” ‘An easy attempt at avoiding the Q just posed.
    Who Am I? (Positive Characteristics):
    * Compassionate
    * Intelligent
    * Kind
    * Loving
    Whoa! Those are important identifying traits! Yet, where is that compassion and love For myself, when I’m flashing back, or headed that way? Is it with the parts of my soul that feel empty, broken?…the parts of “me” that fear has incited myself to hide from basically everyone? Of course it is. Love is everywhere, but most useful in my conscious life when I’m aware of the care, waiting to be found instead of viewing this love as if hiding with or in my ‘scared kid place.’
    HEALING IS POSSIBLE FOR ME, FOR US, NO MATTER HOW “BAD” OUR HANG-UPS OR HOLD UPS MAY BE… NO MATTER WHAT!

    “Power of Love and Good For All, Pervasively, Infinitely, I’ll just call you ‘God’ because it’s easier, I need your help, and help from others, too. Apparently I’ve been leery of trusting you from places inside of myself that feel the most fragile (even here, I cringe realizing that That word, fragile, at all applies to me). Yet, as a human it does and always will…

    SO WHAT! LIVE YOUR LIFE! You are Not Alone, so Stop Acting as if you are! Right now, you are typing as part of connecting to other humans who do and will care about you, whether having read this far or not.

    You are here, still alive, despite so many worldly odds against that being true. So, Live Your Life! Ask for help! You just did it before your prayer there, by loggin on here! And, you Can do it again. I expect this of you, as a child of Mine, who like every other, you will ever require help.

    This vital fact is part of what allows healing relationships, the kind you have feared to enter so closely with people As If (Those words, are they signs of reacting in fear?) rejection has Seemed it would be a life taking thing; too painful to bear.

    So, ask for help, knowing that you don’t yet have as much practice in such soulful connections as you desire: Not having yet Mutually shared love in your depths because you have hidden parts of who you are and ever will be, denying access of Love into parts of your soul still in desperately in need of its healing power, and so remain As If Alone in too many respects. What do you think????

    If, “Yes,” reread the above. Reread the Blog. You Are Loved!

  6. Reader says:

    I know that I’ve been extra sick lately,& tht it’s taken most of my energy just to let my body heal.

    Reading the above and the replies, I was astonished to see a couple of replies fr/me.
    And, here again, I feel as if having only read this piece for the first time.

    There’s so much to hold onto here. It’s a lot to take in. It’s good to take in. I need these words, NEED them. I’d like to get a PC and print this out! And, use it to buy a copy of Close to Home. I really want to get my hands on that.

    This read through, what hit w/so many other things was the part saying that it’s ok to be ‘up in the air’ as to who I am, relationships, career, purpose… And that I don’t have to leave it all behind to be a better version of”me.”

    I can’t, those parts of my Story that won’t go away Are here to teach me, & others, too. They will always be Parts of me. But, those parts don’t have the power to define me. As you say, that power belongs to me.

    Empowerment. I need that.

  7. Alex says:

    Yeah. This is good stuff. It never occurred to me that my past could be an important part of my future, not with my past. I never thought about my life as acting like I’m alone in all this when I’m not either. Life can be fuckin scarey. There, I said it. But, I never thought about logging on here as asking for help or a way to see I’m not as alone as I think. You guys have challenged me to Live my life as it is. I hate admitting I’m scared. It’s easier to say it to some blog people than in face to face conversation. But, this may help me get to that, scared or not. I Never Thought I’d say That! Damn! Thanks to you blog writer and repliers. I’m goin to bed, and really don’t want to, because I know memories are going to come up or wake me up. But, what you are saying, I think, is that even if it does, it’s only part of my life, a part that’s gonna push me forward if I ask it to, instead a pushing me back, into the past like into a corner I can’t get out of. That’s the feeling I’m used to. But, tonight, I can try to just fuckin take control over those memories, ask my mind to start using that shit not to scare me but to move me out from the past and into the present. I feel like you’re saying I have a choice here that I NEVER THOUGHT I COULD. Is that what you’re saying? I don’t want to get into emails and all that. But I’m going to try this out. I hope the hell it works. And I’ll let you know. This is long . I’m just trying to say thanks. Alex L. Walker

    • Thanks for reaching out, Alex. You are not alone. It’s okay to be scared, just remember that healing is a process that requires both allowing and action. Please let me know if I can be of more support to you. – Britta

Reach Out Here or Email Me at brittareque@gmail.com

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