I got triggered the other day for the first time in a little while. I refer here to my PTSD. Something happened at work and I had a flashback to what had happened to me in medical school. When one of my fellow students did unspeakable things. And when those higher ups punished me for it instead of helping me. I have never had this happen at work before but there I was. My heart rate was picking up, my throat beginning to gag, the tears welling up. I quietly slipped away from the lecture. I wanted to call my husband but I knew if I spoke, I would begin to cry and wouldn’t be able to stop. So, I texted him instead:
I had a flashback and had to leave. Feeling sad. Please pray.
He couldn’t read the text right away, busy with taking care of baby Princess and our castle. So, I decided to pray with him anyway. I texted him:
God is good. God is good. I knew He is. Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ on my left, Christ on my right. Christ in the ear of all who hear me, Christ in the tongue of all who speak of me, Christ in the eye of all who see me. We pray for (the Violent Man)’s soul, for (the unethical Higher Up)’s soul. Poor banished children of Eve. May God have mercy on their souls.
And as I typed the words, I came to believe them. And I became calm.
I cannot say I never get angry with the Violent Man or the unethical Higher Up, but I have forgiven them as much as I can as of now. I pray for them and when I do, I forgive them more and more. I forgive because that’s what God tells us to do. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us. God has forgiven me, poor wretched sinner that I am. But it’s also true that forgiving them makes me feel better. Brings healing. Loosens the hold it all has over me.
Life is not static. It is not clean. I have my days of mourning and my days of joy. But I have come out of the whole thing better than might be expected. I have forgiven, I have trusted. Because I have to, really. We’re not owed anything in this life. It’s all a gift. There will be trauma. There will be pain. But there is so much more.
My husband got my text soon after I’d sent it. I texted him I was calmed down but asked that he still pray for me. He replied simply:
My husband loves me. My babies too. God loves me perfectly. Jesus said that it’s easy to love your friends, but that we’re called to love our enemies as well. I used to think that was for the benefit of the enemies, or maybe just a way to keep us all in line. But I think it’s more than that. God really does love all of us more than we can comprehend, yes even child molesting sociopaths. So, yes, it is for our enemy’s sake he tells us to love one another. But he also knows that in striving to love our enemies, we grow closer to him, closer to being good, closer to all that is good. And so in trauma we find God, we find goodness. Our dark days are a gift as much as our joyful. He really does bring beauty from ashes.