Today I am joining with Honoré and sharing an update on my journey with my 2020 One Little Word, Open.
I find myself thinking about the word open a lot. In my darker moments I strongly dislike (I won’t use the word hate but you know I’m thinking it) this word. It has challenged me in ways I never could have predicted and it has been difficult. Difficult to be open when life is scary and I want to close down. Difficult to remain open when all I want to do is hide myself away from the wor(l)d. And now, particularly, difficult to re-open the parts of myself that I shut down to protect myself from trauma.
As Dale has gotten stronger and more independent, I find myself wanting to protect him more. Even though I longed for this back in the days when he was very very helpless, now I find myself scared of it. Scared to let him drive a car by himself. Scared to have him go up and down the stairs alone. Scared, frankly, to let him out of the bubble I closed him up in to protect him and enable him to heal.
That bubble of protection? The one I stuck him in when he came home from the hospital? It’s very similar to the the one I put myself in a lot when I was a kid and I had to deal with the trauma of my childhood. The bubble is pretty and safe. It’s calm and quiet and the walls are thick and nothing can get in unless I allow it. Not fighting parents and brothers who leave, not alcoholism and chaos and domestic violence, and definitely not accidents and death. The flipside, of course, is that nothing can get out either. And nothing can grow or change because the bubble won’t allow for that. The bubble keeps us safe. The bubble also keeps us stagnant.
As we approach another month, I know that I have to put the trauma bubble away. I have to open up and allow for change and growth as we move into the next phase of recovery, both physically and emotionally.
The reality is that I might not be ready to put the bubble away completely. I might still need some protection from the chaos of the outside world. But I’m definitely ready to put some windows in the bubble and open them up to let the light back in.