Lessons Learned from the Worst Day of my Life

Motherhood

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I read something in a book that I really enjoyed about trauma. It’s common for victims of trauma to go days, even weeks without noticing the time passing or the seasons changing. Before reading this, I didn’t realize how true that was for my situation. Hours pass during the day and I have no idea where they went. Typically, I’m a workaholic and I’m obsessed with making sure that every minute of my day is valuable. I don’t want my kids to watch too much TV, or spend too much time away from them. I want to know that I’ve been productive. It’s why I chose to work nights as a scientist, and spend all day with my children.

Trauma sneaks up on you like that. You want the days to pass. I find myself checking my phone more often, refreshing my emails. I don’t even know what exactly I want or what I’m waiting for, but other days I just want the day to pass me by. Sometimes my anxiety comes across as anger because I am angry. I’m angry that this anxiety is an issue in my life now and I don’t even know the answer to the question of, “What are you most afraid of?”. I feel like if maybe I could answer that, maybe I could start to heal.

In the same book, Edward talks about how he doesn’t want to know more details about the worst day of his life, and I can relate to that so much. At the same time, I wonder if the answers would bring me peace. I’ve read that storing trauma can do harm to the body. That in reality, your memory of the event is much stronger when it does sneak up on you when you try to forget that it ever happened.

A part of me died on the worst day of my life. And I can’t just get over it. Sometimes it makes me angry still when someone asks me to do something because I’m not the same person. I know that this happened to me, specifically, for a reason and I’m trying to find the strength to keep fighting it. Sometimes it’s hard. It’s hard that I’m not supposed to talk about it with anyone. As much as I want it to fade away and return to normal, I want to scream out that THIS STILL MATTERS!

I used to feel like the best mom in the world, but on the worst day of my life I couldn’t protect my child. I feel like every day that I continue to be a lesser version of myself, that I’m failing her even more. I go to work, and I don’t feel like a rock star anymore. I just feel like a working mom trying to get through the night that finally realized she can’t have the best of both worlds. Because if I wouldn’t have wanted to be in two places at once, this would have never happened.

Be kind. To everyone. If someone shares the worst day of their life with you, realize that it doesn’t define them as a person. All the days before, and how they deal with that day from here on out still count. Think about your comments. Think about your words. They matter. And as much as I’d like to say they don’t, they do. And I know that one thing I’ll take away from the worst day of my life is that I can be a little more understanding, listen a little more, and alot more open minded.

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