Healing is lonely.

Most of it needs to be done alone. And some of it takes so much time and energy there is almost nothing left for social relationships.

I was going to go to a friend’s ritual the night before last. We were supposed to meet at five, but by then I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I went to bed at 5:30, woke up again at 7:30, made dinner and went to bed at 9:30. I am just so tired.

I was tired because C was leaving for her village and that is a huge trigger, although I can’t quite pin down what is causing it, and because I was working myself up to talking to her dad. I finally talked to her dad. C finally got in a car and left. I could finally rest. But there is almost no way to explain how this happens for me, how it is that I am so exhausted or that I am so stressed nearly all the time. It’s impossible to explain how nothing can be done about this. There is no simple or short-term solution. I am handling it the best way I can. I am handling it in a way that will have long-term benefits, but in the short-term, I am totally exhausted from it. I would still be exhausted even if I handled it in a different way. If I handled it differently, I might not get any benefit for later.

I keep hoping things will get easier, but they don’t. The things that trigger trauma are so ordinary I cannot escape them. Someone knocking on the door or anything that sounds like a knock on the door—a pencil tapping. Cold. Boredom. The sense of being unable to escape. Departures. They are more intense and unending because of C. Well, I could withdraw from life. But I am entering into life as much as I can stand. Life gives me some reason to do all this. Without that, there’s not much reason to do it. The source of exhaustion is also the source of motivation.

But it’s lonely and isolating. There is no way around that. One thing I have realized, too, is that most people really don’t want to hear about it. My life is on high. I can’t avoid that. Other people don’t want to be on high. They withdraw from it. Even the little I share they withdraw from sometimes. It’s not personal, but it’s lonely. I think that’s hard to articulate too, as an experience. People can enter into problems they can relate too, that are simple. They cannot always enter into mine. I was alone when it happened. I am often alone with it now.

A few things have surfaced the last day or so.

One is that, as it turns out, I like Holland. I want to stay here. I want Holland as much as I ever wanted anything. I want Country X. I want the almost impossible task of parenting C. It’s not the life I imagined for myself or the one someone else might imagine for me, but I want it. I want it like heroin. This is a bit of a surprise.

So it brings some stuff up. It brings up specifically a ghost-like sense from my childhood. It is feverishly tied to a very particular experience of waking up or gaining consciousness after some kind of mock execution and not knowing if I was really alive or not. Not knowing what was real either—since the experience of execution was denied later, did it happen? Was the execution real, but everything after unreal? Because that is how it felt to me.

And also literally not knowing if I were alive or just a ghost imagining being alive still. And that’s intense. It’s an intense memory. It’s the memory of my dad nearly killing me. Again and again.

Having the liveliness come back into life feels that way. I am reminded of some of the same thoughts about. Is it real? Am I merely imagining all this?