Reclaiming What Once Was

JayDuck, Piscataqua River Bridge 01, CC BY-SA 3.0

Day 318

I once lived in Maine. I was a different person then. I was very happy when I started my journey but unfortunately it did not end that way. I remember the day I left Maine and drove over the Piscataway River Bridge. Then when I drove out of New Hampshire, I breathed a sigh of relief like I had never known. I was leaving this part of New England and its associated trauma behind me. I swore I would never go back.

It has been 23 years and I haven’t been back. 23 years of associating places with trauma. 23 years to realize that my trauma is long over and the place had nothing to do with the trauma.

I’m going back.

I mentioned here before about attending a women’s retreat in October. This retreat came about so organically and so spiritually that when I was asked if I would attend, I never hesitated.

I never told my friend who is organizing the retreat about this. Honestly, I never gave it much thought until I started planning the part of the trip leading up to the retreat. Seeing familiar road names and familiar towns and cities made me realize what this step means in me becoming whole again.

The funny thing about triggers is that we often associate a place, a smell, a song, etc., with bad experiences. It takes a lot of work to overcome those associations. We allow our minds to recreate situations that have long since gone.

I am taking my power back.

I was lucky. I found my way. It takes time and work and self-healing. It does not happen overnight. For some people, the trauma is so severe, the work may take a lifetime.

In October I will drive over familiar territory. I will do some fully fledged tourist leaf-peeping. I will feel the cool breeze of remembrance on my face. I will watch the mighty Atlantic crash onto the rocky shores of the Maine coast-line. I will walk under covered bridges and drive the winding roads through the hills of Vermont.

Then I will settle into New Hampshire with a group of women — most of whom I do not know. I will breathe in the lessons that wait for me there. I have no expectations other than to be in the moment. I am led there by my heart.

I accept the spiritual guidance leading me there. And I love that.

I know Linda hopes these posts will be light-hearted and for me this has truly lightened my heart. If you want to join in the practice of One Liner Wednesday, head over to Linda’s place for the rules and take time to read what others have written.