Things aren't back to normal; they're better.
All that pain and ugly and hurt that erupted almost two years ago...I think it's gone. Replaced with love and joy and respect.
Sometimes it surfaces again. From the simplest little things. Today it was an email. A newsletter completely unrelated and yet, connected by the tiniest of threads.
I remember all of that pain and ugly and hurt. The insecurity and fear. And I can't help but think but I'm happy now! things are good! why? when will this stop?
And I wait. I wait for the memories to take my breath away. To bring me to my knees. To bring forth tears and painful sobs. I wait for the panic, the anxiety, the blanket of depression. I wonder who will watch my classroom when I can't stand to be in here anymore.
It never comes.
Sure. I'm sad. I hate that we ever had to experience that hardship, that pain, that uncertainty. It's a strong enough force in my mind that it leads me to prayer, to write it all out here.
It doesn't hurt as much now. It doesn't cripple now. I am stronger.
I am stronger.
I'm not sure it will every completely be gone, the thoughts, the feelings. It has colored my life permanently, changed me. But, it didn't break me. I am here. And I am happy and more whole than I have every been. I am who I am now because of who I was and what I went through. As much as I wish sometimes that I could take that time and forget it, I know that I can't. To take it away would be to alter me, to alter all the love and joy and respect in my life now. And I can't do that; I don't want to do that.
Even in those WHAM! moments I know peace now. It is what keeps them from taking me back to ground zero again, what keeps me rooted in the here and now, the love and joy.
That time may still shake me occasionally and that's okay. I have learned that I can get through it. It may have helped shape me, but it does not define me. I know who I am.