When trauma changes your life path

October 11, 2017

By Jordan Pickell

You had it all planned out. You were on a path, and you were to move along that path gracefully, seamlessly. But that just hasn’t happened. The milestones you expected to hit by now, or that feeling of belonging and confidence you imagined just haven’t materialized. To be honest, you thought you would be a lot further along, whatever that means. You imagined yourself all shiny and settled. You thought you would have it all together. But you don’t. And that feels so frustrating and embarrassing, maybe even shameful. There’s this figure, this person you thought you were supposed to be. You keep comparing yourself to that person, and to your peers. Why does life seem so easy for them?
You feel so strongly that if you didn’t experience the trauma, if you didn’t meet that person, if you hadn’t made those choices, you would be on a completely different path; you would have a completely different life, a better life, the life you thought you would have. You are angry– angry about what you have lost, about what could have been. Like other losses in your life, this brings a process of grief.

What now?

A part of you thinks that you have missed your chance. Maybe you just want to throw up your hands and give up. You are so angry about what you lost and in a way, that anger feels good because it is justified. It is righteous. And… it keeps you stuck.
The trauma is taking up so much space in your life. Your next great task is to re-connect with who you are and what your needs are– not how you wish they are or how you think they should be, but how they actually are, who you actually are. Let go of where you think you “should” be and honour where you are right now.


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