Artwork, Poetry

Feeling With Purpose

Today was rainy and overcast. The clouds rumbled as I walked down the sidewalk in an unfamiliar part of town. Focused intently on navigating myself to the nearest bus stop I checked I was safe to cross before stepping out into the crosswalk. Checking my direction in Google maps once again, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and looked up just in time to see a jeep careen to a halt seconds from where I stood. Disbelief washed over me. I glanced to confirm I had the walk signal and shrugged my arms at the driver in panic, as if to say, “What were you thinking !? I was shaking as I closed the gap between me and the safety of the sidewalk. I felt the familiar electric jolts of shock rippling down my neck and into my back. I sat down on the grass and let my fear and relief wash over me. It passed, fairly quickly, it usually does. Head clear, I realized how much worse it could have been. Safely tucked into a bus seat for last leg of the journey home, an awareness washed over me. It wasn’t street safety, or gratitude for my life- although all these things were relevant. What I realized is how wonderful it was to no longer be frozen. As someone who has experienced strong trauma responses from a young age, I can remember having horrifying experiences and not being able to react, or feel anything. I was frozen in this place for so many years. When that vehicle almost struck me, i felt a myriad of emotions. Shock, anger, fear, and finally sadness which burst like waves on a rock and dissipated into relief. I sat down on the corner of King and Nash and cried until I felt better. Then? I moved on. Feeling facilitated the processing and letting go of such an intense scare. In recovery from trauma it’s been such a beautiful gift to experience emotions when they are needed. Arriving home I was met with  the brilliant brightness of the sun breaking through the thick curtain of clouds. How symbolic is that?

Leave a Reply