It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? A lifetime.
I’ll begin in the middle and apologize in advance for the lack of background information. There is a hint of sunlight at the edge of the forest for the first time in a long time, and I have no desire to turn back towards the darkness that is, for the moment, behind me. For now, I’ll focus on the warmth of the sun on my face.
For the last three mornings, I’ve awoken with a gentle and quiet lightness. It’s been 20 months, but at this moment I sense that order is finally beginning to regrow from brokenness. At this moment there is enough distance between me and the onslaught of violent and violating flashbacks that sentences have space to form. At this moment the PTSD symptoms are silent, although I imagine them lurking like so many malicious spirits in the corners of my mind’s periphery, their minacity tangible, lest I forget how fragile is my peace.
The absence of a gnawing, feral terror confused me when it first occurred. What was this bright silence, this open meadow in my mind? Terror wasn’t always a part of me, I remembered with a jolt, and that realization sent a wave of relief washing over me that was heartbreakingly beautiful in its sweetness.
My eyes can see. The acrid tar of someone else’s violence doesn’t fill and choke me, and my skin can feel and my ears can hear. My mind can turn outwards at last, and through my open window the summer air brings to me the memories it holds of when I was safe, and the green of the trees glows with welcoming kindness. Grey sky lays upon me like the softest, lightest blanket, and sunshine filters through it like my grandmother’s love. Today the birds don’t break my heart with their songs and their freedom, but they welcome me to join them and I think that what I am feeling is hope.