Writing is cheaper than therapy and who else but me to validate time and again. But then, there are perceptions that always plague my writings. And many who have enlightened themselves or have been protected that they perhaps wouldn’t understand why I put my words on paper. Even though I come from a highly educated family, there have been topics of taboo, that are cringed upon and unspoken even today.

I was twelve. I had gone to a relative’s place for lunch with my parents. Everyone had a scrumptious meal, the adults including mine got immersed in neverending conversations and I remember getting bored so I wandered off. They had much older kids, all probably in their late twenties and early thirties. I was about to go into a room with a television, and was stopped by one of their sons to exchange a few words. It was sweltering hot and that explained why he was in a ‘baniyan’.

As a child I was sharp tongued – no surprises there. I regret not keeping my mouth shut that day. He was stinking and I unmindfully said, “Yuck ‘Anna’, why don’t you take a shower.” I didn’t realize how swiftly he reacted to what I said, that I didn’t stand a chance to escape the situation that was to dawn on me. That incident would eventually besmirch my mind with fugacious thoughts for the rest of my life.

There is possibly no remedy besides self-healing. And that takes its own time. I can never forget the visual, the smell, and the contact. Hind sight is 20-20 and it wasn’t anything that could leave me in physical or mental pain but the nightmares from that instance haven’t stopped. He brought his full haired armpit into my face, the sweat touched my nose and the stench was so intense that I puked. I don’t know if this is any kind of abuse or not but it was definitely detrimental for my fragile mind.

The visceral reactions were immediate and prolonged. The repulsion to untidiness, the disgust for salt, nauseousness at the smell of stench have continued through my adult life. My cleaning compulsiveness is neccesaily not a bad thing but I tend to take it to extremes at times when I have a recollection of the unfortunate flashback. To make matters worse there is nothing to be forgiven but a lot to be forgotten.

For those in similar ‘pain’, while each of our coping mechanisms may be different I do find comfort in avoiding my triggers, intentionally trying to overwrite that trauma with ‘clean’ memories such as indulging in delicate, refeshing scents, frequent showers, cleaning my own home that also helps with cardio, talking through with my husband and mom on what not to do on my bad days. It is hard but I not only have a supportive family but a strong set of friends who never misunderstood my idiosyncratic behavior.

Those that are of the understanding that people like me should shake it off, be positive and meditate must also learn that unlike physical hurt, the cracks to the mind don’t manifest and the healing is not standardized technique. So, please be kind with your sermons. “There is no timestamp on trauma. There isn’t a formula that you can insert yourself into to get from horror to healed. Be patient. Take up space. Let your journey be the balm.” – Dawn Serra

Published by Quotidian Blessing

InfoSec Director|WIT Mentor-Protege Vice Chair|ATA Convention Women's Forum Chair|Published Poet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: