This is the big, scary truth about trauma. Trauma permanently changes us and there is no such thing as “getting over it.”
The five stages of grief model marks universal stages in learning to accept loss, but the reality is in fact much bigger and not that easily put. There is no plan, no guideline, and not really a process one goes through. The best path is if you can allow yourself to feel it in all it’s grief and pain, no matter how hard it is. To let it go through you rather than suppressing and storing it for years to hold on to. Trauma is a major life disruption that leaves a new normal in it’s wake. There is no “back to the old me.” You are different now, full stop.
This is not a fully negative thing. Healing from trauma can also mean finding new strength and joy. The goal of healing is not a papering-over of changes in an effort to preserve or present things as normal. It is to acknowledge and wear your new life – warts – wisdom, and all – with courage.
We can do this. We can lean on each other. And we learn from each other. Giving support, love and light, one person at a time.