How to Regain Yourself When You’ve Been Invaded
You closely guard your homestead, know your neighbours, and are pretty sure you do all in your power to keep safe. All, that is; but foster paranoia, suspicions of everyone, an unfriendly, doubting, cynical or judgmental disposition. You refuse to be anything but generous, even as you’re vigilant, and yet—you are still invaded, betrayed, and sometimes killed, other times hurt, most times parts of you destroyed. Now what.
Deep breath. You’ve survived an attack, and albeit your losses, your life isn’t one of them. You’re still here and yet as much as that’s ingrained in you, and as the world yells that you should have a renewed energy about life, the will to live and succeed, a small thing called survivor’s guilt, an even smaller matter called shock, and an even smaller emotion called fear, cripples you. You don’t know how to live in this new world, the one that’s changed.
If you’re not thinking about the fact that you’ve been spared, you consider those who weren’t. You remember that you were no different than they were, actually, how some of them had greater things to be here for. You don’t get it. Why you? Why not you? That last part of the swing tilts on the questions about the invasion. Why, oh why, why did it have to happen in the first place? What great lesson in life did you have to learn? Why did it happen when you were so careful, didn’t take people and life for granted, knew how to keep yourself safe? Then…what do you know, anyway?
Shallow breath. Nights are spent drenched in tears. Sometimes gratitude, sometimes despair. Long, and dark hours that never seem to open up to the day. When the sun comes up, you’re still awake. It’s another day, you’re not quite happy, and you feel guilty. You are angry. Why did the invasion have to take place? You are sad. What did you do to deserve this? You are sorry. What could you have done to prevent it? You are quiet, still in shock, still in prison, like you might as well be dead.
Hold your breath. It’ll be like this for a while. Get cosy. Don’t stress. Have a daily plan. Break it into an hourly plan. Be that person…at 3PM I’m going to eat, at 5PM I’m going to take a walk, at 7PM I’m going to…that person. Even as it feels mundane, benign, maybe insane, stick to your goals. You see, you’re telling your mind to live, and soon enough, it’ll do what it knows best—adapt to survive. One day you’ll snap out of it. You want it to be smack in the middle of your continuing success, not a dark room with a gun and a bullet option to the head.
Exhale. It’ll get better. Not today, not right now, but one day, the sun will shine. There are seasons for all things. If you let life, you’ll find that you’re stronger inside than what’s outside. Believe and hang onto a light, hope has kept people alive in places as dark as yours, sometimes darker. At the end of the tunnel, is light. The trick is to hold on for dear life. It’ll be worth it.
Deep breath. You’ll want to shut down. No-one’s welcome in your house, there goes your heart. That’s okay, you’ve been terribly hurt. Don’t decide the rest of your life on today. Give it time, and one day, even as the complete sense of trust wanes, you’ll open up again. Do you know how the beautiful Appalachians were created? Look at what you love in nature, see how it was formed. You are more precious than anything ever created, it’ll be a while but you‘ll be glad you made it, when you see what’s become of you. Don’t give up, don’t give in, don’t compromise yourself, and one day, it’ll be natural to take your deep breaths.