This site started coming together more than 5 months ago. I took my time setting it up. I wasn’t sure it was a path I wanted to go down. I questioned myself and my motives. I thought, what if no one looks at it? What if everyone looks at it but no one likes it? What if someone finds out that it is my site? The site was nearly complete by the beginning of February. But again, I hesitated. I was too busy. School vacation would be here soon, and both my husband and I had big work deadlines. The timing wasn’t right.
And then the pandemic came. And suddenly my whole sphere of being changed. Everyone’s spheres of being changed. And overnight there seemed no longer to be space for mental health issues, or trauma, or triggers.
But my trauma-baggage didn’t go away with the arrival of COVID-19, it expanded. The problem is that there is nowhere for it to expand into right now. I have additional challenges, beyond what is discussed as the focus of this site. I also have complex PTSD from a longer term situation during my adolescent years. This manifests as extreme insecurity and self-loathing. But there is no space in my own life at the moment, let alone the lives of people around me, for extra, non-COVID baggage. All of us are hanging on by shear adrenaline. I get it. I’m in it. My husband and I get up in the morning and spend all day trying to keep our children from killing each other while also not getting fired from our jobs. It’s completely exhausting. Everyone I know is now living in forced survival mode and there is no room for anything that does not help us keep ourselves and our own immediate family safe from what feels like the end of the world. We are all drowning, simultaneously but separately.
I know that I am fortunate. I still have a job that I have the luxury of worrying about getting fired from. My family has enough food, and we can still pay our mortgage. I don’t live in an abusive situation. No one in my house is sick yet. And I am grateful for all of these things. I am SO grateful. But I also feel more depressed and more alone than I can remember feeling in a long time. Gratefulness and sadness are not mutually exclusive emotions. Despite the fact that right now we are constantly surrounded by social media telling us that they are.
In the midst of all that is going on I returned my attention to this site which I had been working on so hard the past few months. I re-read my own words and looked at how it had come together. I was reminded that this site is something I was really proud of and excited about only a few weeks ago. I truly believed it I had the potential to help people who might not have another outlet. And suddenly, this seemed like exactly the right time to launch. Because there are so many people out there like me. People with heightened emotions from our past weighing down on top of all of the anxiety of the present. Feeling so alone. Feeling like there is no space for our emotions that have been triggered by, but are not directly related to, this pandemic.
I know with all the COVID news everywhere, there is a high probability that no one will look at the site right now. There is a high probability that no one will read this post. But if this site can provide even one person some measure of solace and comfort, a space that they can expand their baggage into that will accept it, and validate it and say, it’s ok to have extra emotions right now, then it will have been worth it. And this site has already accomplished that goal. Because it is providing that space for me. So for now I will continue to write this blog, attached to a web site that no one is looking at. Because it is the only space I have where I don’t feel judged for needing to talk about something that is impacting me that is not COVID.
I had not planned on adding a blog to this site, but I need it right now. And for that reason, I would like also to invite others to submit a blog entry if you would like to. I do encourage you to also about writing an impact statement as well. But I know that writing an impact statement can take time, and maybe you are struggling and need an outlet right now. Maybe you are trapped in a situation where you feel actively unsafe. Or maybe you are just losing your mind and no one around you can understand that all of your non-COVID-related triggers have been set off by the constant state of high anxiety you now find yourself in. Maybe you need a space to expand your trauma-baggage into right now that has room to accept it. This site is a place where you can do that. There is no judgement. There are no comments allowed on the blog and you can be completely anonymous. It is a place that will accept you in whatever state you are in at this moment.