::PREFACE:: I’ve wanted to post this but was concerned it’d be misunderstood. I’m not currently in a dark or even painful place with everything that has happened, but I felt like this post was important to give voice to what I endured and what so many others feel. One of the worst parts about going through something catastrophic is the feeling that other people don’t really understand you anymore. Hopefully, this will give words to those in crisis and help others understand what their loved ones are enduring.
I can’t believe I survived this.
Like a victim of a natural disaster, I felt the storm coming. It turned dark; the wind battered the landscape around me. I could feel it swelling and growing. Then it was too late to evacuate or make storm preparations, it descended upon me.
There’s a reason they name storms after people.
I survived a Hurricane.
Storms often hit in two parts, with an illusion of calm in between. The eye of my storm lasted five years. But the storm was not over, it was merely gathering strength and preparing to thrust its force over my life.
Victims of natural disasters, of truly horrific ones, they’ve seen things that cannot be unseen. They’ve seen completely innocuous objects turned into weapons of mass destruction. They’ve seen every semblance of normal twisted and disfigured. They know blood, bruises, and brokenness.
Some things can never be fully restored.
Once you’ve known loss, you cannot go back. Picket fences will no longer mean prosperity, you will only see a thousand ways it could impale you. Windows will no longer provide security, you will only see the malicious shards that shredded your old life. Storms reveal that you had built your life upon an illusion of safety. An illusion that can never be regained.
The world no longer seems safe after a natural disaster. It’s unsettling for the bystanders, but it’s catastrophic to those who have endured it.
I cannot believe that I endured it.
If you’ve never known the freight train wail of a tornado or the gale force winds that bring impossible swells, then you don’t know that fear. That fear that this thing will actually kill you. The emotions that accompanied my Hurricane were no less deadly. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. All that existed was fear and pain. You don’t have time to revel in disbelief, the storm is upon you and you have to survive.
And I did.
So why does this survival make me feel weak? Because it doesn’t feel like it’s over. There will always be more storms. Even a gentle breeze can put me into panic mode. Weather is unpredictable and I don’t think I have the strength to survive another storm.