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Gasp of Freedom

October 13th, 2021

It's official. I am moving back to my home city. Six years ago, I fought to stay there. My husband's employer said "we are dismantling the office there, but we want you to move to headquarters".

NO WAY. Our daughter just started kindergarten. Why leave our loving friends and support system? What about my mom? But families follow the money. Past and current mental health issues mean I have no career. No equivalent jobs=we moved.

The struggle triggered something powerful inside of me. Like emerging from a cocoon. I know it's an overused metaphor, but that's actually the dream I had on our first night in a new and scary place. I stood on a bridge. A person standing next to me launched into a speech detailing my deficiencies. I stood like a dear in headlights. But then a thought occurred to me: I don't have to stay here and listen. A white gel surrounded my body from head to toe. Bright lights swirled. Stars above twinkled with such beauty I wanted to join them.

The cocoon launched me into the night sky.

Being away...I didn't understand the trauma corroding my soul until then. I knew my family had problems. #Gaslighting, especially. But I'd worked hard for years to create a path through the pain. To survive their shit. To find wholeness. But actually getting away. Nothing prepared for me for that first gasp of pure freedom. Away from the constant criticism, walking on eggshells, verbal assaults, guilting, minimising. Free from the fight or flight response when seeing either my dad or brother were calling--or even worse, visiting--I flourished.

The next phase of healing began. And I believed I'd never have to go back.

Irony is the only constant.

After fighting for months to stay in that city, in my old and unhelpful routines, six years later I fought for months to stay away. I identified the #narcissisticabuse, the generational curses descending through both family lines, last year. It opened my eyes. Scars long forgotten reopened. But I didn't flinch from the work. Not until it became clear the universe felt I was ready for the next step.

Families still follow the money.

We're going back to that shit storm. I'm petrified. Overwhelmed. A dear in headlights. Where's the comforting thought to launch me into the stars? The next phase of healing is going to be a bitch to navigate.

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