Life after trauma

Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash


Remember the feel of the earth in your hands, and the smell of the cold dirt? Picture the way it looked under your fingernails when you clawed your way up out of the grave that he buried you in.

Discarded like trash, buried like waste, he left you for dead. Vultures were already circling overhead when your arm broke through the dirt, waves of putrid stench permeating the air. The sudden intrusion of life caused a small squirrel to drop the acorn he was chewing and scamper into the forest in fear.

Photo by Joel Overbeck on Unsplash


But you got out of there, naked and bleeding, not the same but alive — or alive AGAIN! No way for you to know for certain if you SURVIVED or if you were resurrected by God.

All you could be certain of in that glorious moment was that you could SEE again, HEAR again, FEEL again, and BREATHE again and you knew that if this was your chance to LIVE again, you life wouldn’t end in a grave marked only by poor choices, pain, loss, and abuse.


Staring in fascination at the dirt on your hands, you acknowledged the stain of where you’d been and vowed right then to never forget, but to use that reminder as a marker for every time you started to veer off course.

Because you’re not going back to a life of endlessly fighting a battle you can’t win. You’re not going back to a place of constant tears and defense wounds. The grave will open for you again, but on your terms, and in God’s time. Not his. Not like this.

It all feels like a distant memory, yet you still stand above the grave, facing the past that you can’t change. And as the wind picks up and you feel it caress your face, you have one thought.


Because you know. You know he thinks you are over and done. He will never see it coming. You can ease in and out, catch him by surprise, laugh as you destroy him, and leave without a trace.

But that would be the same as a dog returning to his own vomit. You might win, but what is the prize? And what is the price?

Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash


So, as the sun breaks through the trees, you can hear the birds start to sing as you turn and walk the other way.

I write about recovery, life, grief, personal responsibility, social issues, and overcoming. Email:, Blog:

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