Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe in their bodies. The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort.
I’m sitting in our family vehicle in the vast parking lot of Target while my children quietly listen to their iPods, unaware of my distress. I didn’t tell them the reason for the stop, and I try to get control of myself before their questions begin. We had gotten only a few miles into the short commute home from their charter school when I had to pull over, when I thought I might not make it home. I just need a second.
Life is teeming all around us, echoing the movement in my chest. I try to ignore the sensation migrating around in there like a misguided comet circling the sky. I am distraught with the reality that I hadn’t been able to rid myself of this pain in my body, no matter how hard I tried to will it away. For the entire day I had been feeling it well up inside.