Blow the candles out…

Two years ago, I blew the candles out…

Two years later, I was walking behind him… nearly running, in fact.  And this is how it was: always lagging behind, always trying to follow his big steps, only my legs couldn’t reach and there I was, left behind. 

We were young.  We didn’t know what we were doing, in the world or to each other.  He never knew that I followed him, admired him from behind but feared him when we were faced together.  And I never knew how to take my own steps, create my own path for others to follow. 

But a few days ago, there I was again, following him, stumbling to keep up with his strides.  And then it all hit me and a rush of emotion smothered my face in heat.  I can’t do this again, I won’t do this again.  The Past slammed into me from behind and I tried with my whole heart to push it away.  Unrelenting, the Past stayed on my heels as closely as I stayed on his. 

And there it is, the devastating beauty of PTSD.  One small, seemingly meaningless gesture, movement, or word can trigger in you the emotions you forgot.  It brings back a time of terrible trauma, a memory of intense pain and your body quickly jumps into fight-or-flight mode.  I thought I blew the candles out, but the Past never truly leaves.  We were having a silly spat, a meaningless quarrel, only my mind perceived it as a threat of the Past and all the sudden, like Alice, I was tumbling down the hole back into a dark world.  His distant, independent walk triggered a time in which I was left behind and discarded. 

Only, this time, I crawled out of the rabbit hole and faced the flashback.  I refuse to live my life in a defense mode – and don’t I deserve a security of trust?  I forced myself to dissipate the Past and deal with the here and now.  It’s easy to assume that things are back to what they were, or that some things never really changed, but it’s more challenging to see things for what they are.  And this was one, isolated misunderstanding and it didn’t deserve to be lumped with the pain of the Past.  We didn’t deserve to be likened to the pain of the Past.

As a communication major, one would think I have the ins and outs of personal communication mastered, but I don’t.  I’m just like everyone else, maneuvering my way through the world and allowing my heart to be my guide.  I’m learning that this second chance really isn’t a second chance at all because if it were that would mean tying something potentially beautiful to the weight of a painful memory.  This isn’t a second chance, this is a new beginning and sometimes it’s easy to mistake mannerisms and gut reactions for clues to past behavior. 

I remember that I’ve been through more than I ever thought possible with less than I ever expected to have.  I remember that I accepted my life as a solo and I blew out the lights.  I remember that there was a time in which he lost sight and couldn’t see him or me.  And I remember that I made it out alright, on my own. 

Someone from the past once told me I write as if I’m dying.  I wanted to punch him, but I stopped myself and realized it’s easy to view my attitude and prose in such a way.  He couldn’t see the light in my pain, the hope in my words.  I’ve been through something. I’ve fought, I’ve scraped the pieces of me back together and I’ve survived.  But I will never forget that darkness – it made me appreciate the beauty of the sunshine.  The Hell that I went through was Hell, but the Heaven on the other side is Heaven, in all it’s beautiful glory.

And some days remain a little darker than others and some misunderstandings can easily be labeled as the unchanged past.  But I see the light in it all. 

Two years ago, I blew the candles out…

But I never told anyone that I quietly made a wish above the smoke-filled air.  And my Heaven, with it’s shadowy spots and all, may just be coming true.

2 Responses to “Blow the candles out…”
  1. may they all become true Jordan

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