I have been thinking about being sad for about four hours now, I think. Working through all the angles. It’s not that pleasant, and there is a while when I began to think I will never be done with the hell of working through trauma. It’s all hopeless and awful and I hate it.

But I have a thought now. I really think, in this case, the thought is why I had to go through all that. I had to ponder various aspects of the thought, all of which hurt, until I could really have the thought clearly.

The thought is that this is a new start. And it’s not wonderful. It’s unknown. I mean it could go well or it could go badly. As a child, pretty much everything went badly in the end. I mean, really, terribly badly. Not just painfully badly, but disastrously badly.

Then there was this moment when I left Yuri’s brothel and it was all completely unknown. It is unknown in the same way now, and so I have had to reconsider every aspect of that leaving in order to see that it’s the same kind of thing. But what I had to reconsider was immense grief and a feeling of despair and an experience of total aloneness. The process was not nice at all.

To put it briefly though, there is this illusion that leaving a traumatic circumstance will be wonderful. You will recognize it is safe to be out of it and be filled with total relief. However, this is not what happens. You have to face the unknown. It is like getting on a plane and flying to a country you have never been to. You don’t know how things work in this new place. You can’t always be confident you can navigate this new country. To a native of that country, this is unfathomable. They know how things work there. They know they can manage things. And so they feel safe. But you aren’t going to feel safe, just like I didn’t feel safe in Country X when I first came despite how comfortable Country Xers feel in their own country.

You don’t know how it will work out. It could work out well. It could work out badly. It is unlike the past in that the past nearly always worked out badly, but does not mean life later will work out well. It just means that you do not know. You have to live with that uncertainty.

This is not to say that you want to return to the past because at least the past was certain. I am quite certain this is a bit of oversimplified delusion. If I had remained in the life I lived, I would have died. Either from murder or sheer despair. I knew it then. I know it now. I think most of us who leave know this. You leave because you can’t fucking stand it and you know you can’t.

You miss the things about the past that were good. Nothing is all one way. My past is maybe more extremely mixed than most, but there is nearly always good in every bad situation. Even terrible people have positive qualities, and most of us get attached to someone even if everyone around us is completely dreadful. Later, you miss those good things. You miss those people you were attached to. It’s impossible not to. That doesn’t mean you want to be brutalized again. But I miss marmalade. It’s like that.

Just at this moment, I am having the same kind of experience of newness. It’s not the same kind of move from unbearable torture to something maybe slightly less deadly, but it might be as dramatic, because it’s a move from a kind of internal deadness to something a lot more alive. And I don’t know how it will turn out. I could discover that things turn out shitty in the end no matter what I do or how promising the beginnings seem. It could turn out I just get wounded a lot more. It could turn out all the work to get here in a place where I was capable of more connection with others was, in fact, not worth it, because all is

But it is exactly just as new.

I have this thought about it. I think it’s a good one. Whenever you start a new thing, don’t feel confident. Don’t feel it will be all fine and wonderful. Don’t force yourself to believe things that you don’t honestly believe. Just take it one step at a time. Know it is uncertain and live with all that entails: it might be a little exciting at times; it might make you mad with anxiety. That is what change is all about.

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