Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Geography of a Life

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Yesterday was a somewhat difficult day. Though the calendar day I received the unexpected diagnosis of PTSD was June 25th (2013) June 1st stands out in my mind in a different but still significant way. I came back from my research trip to Germany on June 1st in 2013. June 1st marked the beginning of my descent into an abyss of confusion, pain and aggravation. I simply did not understand at the time what I was in for. It turned out to be quite a roller coaster.

I took public transportation to my therapist appointment yesterday. I made this choice because I could not get a taxi ride due to an issue with my current insurance coverage. As I took what was once a very familiar bus to Roseville I passed minor yet still significant landmarks that I frequently passed back when I was regularly taking public transportation to my weekly appointments. It seemed a little strange as the familiar spots passed my field of vision. I marveled at how two years have nearly passed. I also marveled at the strength I had to have to make it through that difficult time in my life. I have had to be strong quite a lot. Always being the strong one can begin to take quite a toll on a person. None of us can be Superman twenty-four hours a day seven days a week.

All of our lives have a certain unique geography to them. There is some special place where we were born. We carry significant associations regarding the schools we attend, the places we frequented as children, the places where we enjoyed outdoor recreation and so on. Trauma can leave an imprint upon our hearts and minds that alters our perception of that geography. Just as we have pleasant associations with some places we may develop unpleasant associations with others. In significant cases of trauma it may prove difficult for a person to be able to visit locales associated with his trauma history as well as his recovery. Joy and beauty may become indelibly etched in our psyches as somehow associated with certain places. The same is true for pain and suffering.

Some people may find it vital to revisit the locales that were the sites of their trauma as a way of finding some sort of healing. It seems to me that in cases of severe trauma such revisitation can take on the quality of a mythic quest to find some sort of redemption. There have been times when my own healing process has felt like some sort of journey in search of a permanent redemption. I believe deeply wounding experiences can inspire people to undertake journeys that require an equivalent depth of courage and resolve.

So what does the geography of your life look like?

What places do you associate with joy, beauty and inspiration?

Where on the planet do you feel safe, serene and brimming with enthusiasm? Do you have such a place you can identify?

I personally am still working out what I need my own geography to be...

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I invite you to accompany me as I document my own journey of healing. My blog is designed to offer inspiration and solace to others. If you find it of value I welcome you to share it with others. Aloha!