I find that when I try to avoid triggers, I suddenly see them everywhere. It didn’t take long at all for that to become painfully clear.
The songs I listen to, the videos I watch, the articles I read, the places I visit, the buildings on campus that would have been built while I was still John (one of which I have classes in every day)… Something always threatens to drag me back to thinking about that life. If I continue to avoid triggers, I’m going to miss out on a lot of living.
And yet, my instinct is to keep avoiding triggers because these memories really scare me. I find it’s an act of will to face them, though I can’t deny that there’s a certain cold comfort to be found in embracing these memories as mine and finally letting them come to the surface rather than binding them deep within my soul like I have for nearly a century. In letting it come forward, letting myself shed tears for all that was lost, telling anyone who will listen, I find I feel just a little more whole. Why do I just want to delete this blog, delete every song and video from every playlist that reminds me of that damned war, and just become a recluse?
Remembering is helping me heal… why do I find it so difficult?