Louisa Vigeant
Jul 20, 2018 · 3 min read

A Day in the Life of A Trauma Survivor

Today is day one of my writing every day. No matter what. I can hear the “duhn duhn duhn” of the sloth, Belt, on The Croods echoing in my head.

For me, as a writer, it is hard to get the words out onto the page on some days, well, on most days actually, if I am honest. I sit at my desk and feel a hard lump in my throat and all the words pushing up against that lump, piled up in a crash of sorts. I want to sort them. I need to sort them. I know this in my bones. But I am afraid. The fear pulls me in. It is a swirl within me and a story line I know well. The fear twists and turns, doubt and insecurity churning relentlessly- or so it seems at times. It calls me back and again I answer. Like the woman who won’t leave her abusive boyfriend I worry about what I will become without fear. Fear of other people’s opinions, or fears of not being enough- not good enough- somehow lacking or being flawed in an unforgivable way -is center stage in my life at times.

Who will I be without it? Will this new me be safe? Loving? Responsible? Weak or strong? Will she be wild and bent on chaos or something in between? Will I be sane? Healthy? Who am I? Why are we here? What the hell is happening? This is usually followed by guilt about my obsession with self. By that I mean my obsession with MYSELF. There really isn’t any other word for it. Perhaps some of you can relate? If you take time to evaluate honestly how much of your day is spent thinking about yourself or “your” immediate concerns- we can all probably honestly say that aiming to spend more time thinking of others is a noble pursuit. Even if we do have children- aren’t we also concerned with our own pursuits and wishes and desires, our families, our children, our dramas and melodramas. Wise men and women have said that this is the root cause of all suffering.

Those questions keep me torn at times but in the quiet moments- in the stillness and at the end of all my reasoning and philosophical debacles, moral and ethical dilemmas, there seems to me only one thing that matters. I always arrive at the same place, at the same conclusion. Love is all there is. It is all we are. It is the stuff stars of made of. We are made of stars. The energy that all the brilliant minds know down each electron-it is love. It is the reason we are here. To feel love. To express it. To be a manifestation of it. To embody it.

It can get confusing at times, though right? How do we walk the tightrope between loving ourselves and loving others? Sometimes I exhaust myself trying to “figure it out” when really all I need to do is stop and recognize that in this moment- I am safe. I am loved. I have food, clothing and shelter. All is well. This moment. Now this one. The present is our greatest gift. It can fill us up in a way that alcohol, drugs, money, sex or any other number of “things” and “experiences” cannot.

It’s easy to forget that in today’s world. The news bombards us each day with negativity and divisiveness and then we are meant to feel ashamed somehow when we cannot maintain a sunny outlook upon life. We ask so much of ourselves! We have made all these beautiful, modern advances but instead of enjoying them we rush ahead to the next activity. We run to the next issue or thing to manage so we can move on to the next and then another after that. It’s an endless, relentless ask of ourselves and I cannot believe that life is meant to be a checklist. Maybe today you will take an hour to perform some sort of loving action for yourself. Let yourself connect to your joy and light. Read a book, write a poem, make some tea or coffee and just spend some time with yourself in quiet.

Or! Go for a drive and blast your music if that works better for you. The point is- get to the joy!

Louisa Vigeant

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Mother, wife, writer, gardener. Can be reached at epeterman78@gmail.com