There's still Work to do on my Journey to Heal
When I made the switch from Divorced at 30 to The Splendid Path, I did it because I was in a different headspace than when I started Divorced at 30. I wanted to still share my truth about divorce but I wanted the opportunity to write about more topics, not necessarily divorce-related.
I want the opportunity to focus on self-care and wellness. I want to focus on travel and lifestyle. I want to focus on the positive because that’s where my journey had brought me. Even so, I will still write about tough subjects and my experiences with healing.
So this post is that: detailing a tough experience on my journey to heal.
I went for a run today. I wanted to go to the gym, but for some reason, I just couldn't get myself there. I went for a run outside instead. There is a beautiful ravine near where I'm living that is within walking distance. On the Divorced at 30 site, I wrote about the healing powers of nature. I needed some of that today, so I went for a run down in the ravine.
I've been feeling a bit emotional today, well really since Friday, when memories hit me hard. Friday I was feeling sad, a bit sorry for myself I guess. Saturday and Sunday, I felt fine. Like Friday was just a blip and didn’t happen. Today, I also felt fine, until after work.
I got home and I felt emotional. That’s the best way to put it; emotional. I can’t really think of another word to best describe it because it’s hard to describe how I was feeling. I wasn’t quite sad and I wasn’t quite angry. I was a mix, but not in any extreme way. I was just out of sorts. So I went for a run. I wanted to sort out my thoughts and my emotions.
On the run, I saw this couple sitting on a bench with their young daughter (she was probably no more than one). His arm was wrapped around her. They looked like they were in love, or at the least, affectionate with one another. Their young daughter was playing. A beautiful family enjoying the sun. I was too in my head, working out my own thoughts and feelings to really register more than this happy image.
On my run back I saw them again. They had left the bench and were walking along the trail. When I came up behind them, there was no one else. It was just me and this family on the empty trail. They didn’t know I was running behind. They couldn't hear me behind them, even with the sounds of my shoes hitting the pavement with each stride.
This time they didn’t seem so happy. This time, the mom was carrying the young daughter in one arm. And this time, the man’s fingers were grabbing the women’s wrist and twisting her arm behind her back out of anger.
As I gained speed and got closer to the family, I could see him twist her arm harder. Her knees buckled a bit from the pain, all while carrying a child in her arms.
When he finally heard me running behind them, he let go of the woman’s arm immediately. As I ran past, I slowed and looked him in the eyes. I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. I was shocked. That someone would do what he had done in a place where anyone could just walk or run by. That someone would do that to a woman holding a child. That someone would ever do that to anyone, who they had just been in a loving embrace with not even 20 minutes earlier.
As I ran by I thought about saying something. I thought about telling the man what I witnessed. I thought about telling him that what he did was wrong and he should never do that again.
I thought about saying something to the woman. I thought about telling her that I was a safe person she could talk to. I thought about telling her that no one deserves that, that love should never hurt like that. I thought about telling her that she deserved a beautiful life filled with joy. I thought about saying something, anything; but I didn’t.
In that moment, I became that person I was two years ago; that person who had no voice. I feel so much shame that I couldn’t say anything. I couldn’t be brave and say anything in a moment when someone needed help.
I just froze. I am so ashamed that I just froze. By the time I looked back again at them, they were gone. They had turned off onto a side path. I ran back to see if I could see them down this other path, but I couldn’t. They were gone. Out of sight but not even remotely out of mind.
After that, I started running. Witnessing what I saw triggered something in me. My memories and the trauma I experienced hit me like a train. I never went through what that woman appeared to experience, but I had my own experiences. Words were planted in my brain years ago that still haunt my thoughts.
I ran until I couldn’t feel my legs and my lungs felt like fire. During the run and at the end of the run, I couldn’t stop the tears. It was a release of every pent-up emotion I have pushed down. That’s the thing with grief and trauma; sometimes when you think you’re all healed and all better, it creeps up on you. Sometimes, things trigger memories. Sometimes, experiences trigger emotions and reactions you never expected.
In that moment, I remembered what my therapist had told me: when you feel like crying, don’t push it down, let the tears fall. Your body needs a release and you need to allow it to happen. If you don’t, it will continue to build. So I let my tears fall and I allowed my body to have its’ release. Even so, I know there’s still healing I need to do.
I need to get to a place where I speak up when I see something awful happening; like what I saw today. The fact that I froze, lost my voice and couldn’t say a thing shows me that there’s still work for me to do to heal.
The mission is healing and wellness. I’ve come a long way, but there’s still work to do.
For all of you out there suffering tonight with your own battles on your journey to heal, I’m sending you only light and peace.