When Trauma Taught Me Surrender
Do you ever feel like “God” (or whoever “he” resembles) forgot about you? Like there’s a plan for everyone else? It’s like everyone knows what “life” is supposed to be, but I keep searching for an answer that doesn’t exist. My life has always looked different, from the time I was three something happened and it taught me not to trust.
When I was five, I had a purple unicorn bike. It had a long banana seat and was made for a three or four-year-old. I was too tall and lanky, I looked like I was pushing seven. My legs kept growing but I didn’t want to give up riding that bike. I’d stop and try to reposition myself on the seat or sit up taller but none of it made any difference, it was still the wrong bike.
I hold on too long. I don’t want to let go. It’s safer to be in control. If I let go, what will happen? I have to play God.
On a river raft, if you go overboard and get stuck in the rapids, they’ll tell you in order to survive you must lay stiff as a board. Floating down the river on your back even though it's freezing and you’re scared to death because you can’t control the river. I can’t control the outcome. I never could.
It’s the resistance that’s the hardest part. I thought I could control how people felt, what the next stage was or where I would end up, but I can’t control the river. I learned how to surrender because at a certain point I didn’t have any other choice.
Anything was better than feeling panicked, sitting in the back of the room facing the nearest exit because my brain learned to think like that. But fighting against reality began to feel worse. I couldn’t see the bigger picture, the 50-foot view of the future, why was what I wanted any better than what was supposed to happen? My body let go just a little bit. Relaxed just beyond my neck and into my shoulders.
That’s when trauma taught me about surrender.