The word trauma is on my mind this morning…honestly, I’m beginning to feel as if the word is overused. And yet, it is the most accurate word for what so many people have been walking through the last several years.
Someone used the word trauma on my facebook post yesterday in response to all that Texas has gone through. All day, I pondered it and began making a personal list of all that has occurred since Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
While I acknowledge all of the things that have occurred, I want those of you reading it to realize that I have made certain that I have had the help I needed to persevere through it all. I have not attempted to walk this out alone, nor have I powered through out of sheer will-power. I have leaned on the resources around me, and I believe that I have a relatively balanced outlook on all of it. It is a lot and I will not minimize that, but I want you to see that when you acknowledge that things are difficult and tap into resources, you will find that you can make it through stressful seasons without bitterness and anger, and you may even come out on the other side emotionally healthy.
- August 2017 — Hurricane Harvey — devastating for Southeast Texas, although not to me personally (a lot of survival guilt during that time)
- November 2017 — My ex-husband resigned from his job to avoid being laid off
- November 2017 — My oldest son had his first deployment…with submarines, you do not get to know where your loved one is
- January 2018 — One of my dearest friends was diagnosed with breast cancer
- February 2018 — I found out from my daughter that my husband of 25 years was gay
- Throughout 2018 — Struggled with guilt about my own family drama occupying my mental resources while wanting to pour my heart into caring for my friend
- March 2018 — One of my children had a complete meltdown and had to be admitted into a psych hospital
- March -July 2018 — Information beyond my comprehension was exposed to me
- April 2018 — My oldest son came home traumatized from what occurred during deployment
- July 2018 — Filed for divorce
- July 2018 — My ex-husband barged into the home and had to be removed by police
- August 2018 — I began working as the divorce court appearances began
- October 2018 — Sold my home and became technically homeless (thankfully, I have dear friends to took us in temporarily)
- December 2018 — Moved into new rental home
- January 2019 — Divorce finalized
- March 2019 — I am sued by my ex-husband
- April 2019 — Reality hits…some friendships die when there is a divorce
- May 2019 — I get accepted into graduate school
- August 2019 — My graduate program begins; my daughter moves into an apartment and begins college
- September 2019 — Tropical Storm Imelda unexpectedly floods Houston, trapping my daughter and me in my car downtown
- October – December 2019 — Ongoing harassment from my ex-husband’s
- January 2020 — I cannot pay my bills, so I make the decision to finish the semester, reduce my hours to part-time student status, and make plans to go to work full-time in May 2020
- March 2020 — The world stops because of COVID
- April 2020 — I begin searching for a job, because that was my plan…COVID or not
- May-June 2020 — Major race riots in America consume our cities
- August 2020 — No job in sight so I begin monitoring students for online schooling
- October 2020 — My students go back to in-person school, so I begin subbing in the school district and baking to bring in enough income to pay my bills.
- June 2020 – January 2021 — Major election drama and people are harshly divided…an insane amount of rage surrounding everyone
- January 2021 — I am hired part-time to teach at a small private school
- January 6 2021 — Our US Capitol was stormed
- January 2021 — My oldest son leaves for a 7-month deployment
- February 2021 — Winter Storm Uri wreaks havoc on Texas
- February 21, 2021 — Today
For 3 years and 5 months, there has been extreme stress in my life and many others throughout the US. That stress is trauma.
Trauma is real, and it affects us deeper than we realize. I do not want to dwell on all that occurred during these last years; however, I also do not want to minimize all that has happened. So many of us are taught to persevere through hardships without ever acknowledging that things were REALLY hard for a while. And that is simply wrong.
Just because you survived it and have made steps forward; the fact that it was a lot to walk through should not be negated.
I know that I sound like a broken record this morning. I keep seeing and hearing faith platitudes that are meant to encourage, but sometimes feel like reprimands for not having enough faith when we are just tired. There are times when we simply need someone to come alongside and hold up our arms as Aaron and Hur did for Moses.
Being tired is real. Pretending as if we aren’t is not.
Yes, for those of you who Believe, God does love us. God’s presence is real. God will sustain us. AND it is okay to say that we are tired and weary…and to rest in the knowledge that God loves us through it all.