The one-year anniversary of the day everything changed is rapidly approaching. I can now see that the events that transpired on March 23, 2017, were traumatic and changed the course of my life. The subtle reminders are there. The weekend he left for “Comicon” (otherwise known as his scheduled weekend to consummate his affair) was the same weekend as my boys’ yearly March soccer tournament, which always gets re-scheduled do to weather. That weekend is coming around next week, and the tournament has been re-scheduled, yet again. When he left last year at this time I was anxious and uneasy and couldn’t put my finger on why. I now know that deep down I knew something was wrong long before my mind new exactly what. I am approaching this weekend with eyes wide open, but that doesn’t make it easier. I am unsettled and anxious. There is a pit deep down in my stomach. I am sure they are approaching it as some sort of anniversary, while I am having to approach it as a trauma-versary, so to speak.
I am raising sons that have both experienced trauma as young boys, in losing their birth families, so I am familiar with what trauma is and how anniversaries of trauma can affect people in unusual ways. I know that I need to give myself extra grace to grieve and emote. My head knows this stuff, which will allow me a little more control of the emotions, but that doesn’t make it easier. A year ago, I was married, albeit starting to feel that something was wrong. A year ago, I thought my husband had always been faithful to me and now I know how untrue that was. A year ago, I envisioned raising our sons together and allowing him to pick up some extra slack so that I could finish grad school. A year ago, I was able to support my family with our two incomes and now I struggle to get by on my salary with a small amount of child support. A year ago, things were so very different from the current reality.
I suspect that for the rest of my life this time of the year will always bring out the before and after comparisons. Right now, those are hard comparisons because the boys and I are in such a rough season. I hope that eventually I will be able to see the “after” as the best part of my life. I am not there yet. I see the glimmers of what could be, but it is not yet a reality. I am still hurting and grieving and raw. Somedays, the events of last March wake me from sleep or bring me to my knees in tears. I want to one day see myself as a strong, capable, woman, mother, and employee, but most days I feel like I keep dropping the pieces that I am juggling.
So, as I approach this trauma-versary, please give me grace. I am trying to put the past in the past, but I also know the importance of allowing myself to feel through things rather than pretend everything is okay. I know the next few weeks will be hard and triggering, but I must just live through them. It has been a year of firsts, some good, some bad, but all necessary.