“As someone who has lived in trauma […], I can tell you that there is a strong pull to reenactment, almost an undertow, and this experience needs to be understood. It needs to be seen. Reenactment needs to be honored and worked with.”

— Gretchen L. Schmelzer, Journey Through Trauma: A Trail Guide to the 5-Phase Cycle of Healing Repeated Trauma (via chthonic-cassandra)





for the record, ‘not feeling anything’ is a valid and not unusual response to trauma or grief

so if you feel empty and devoid of feeling, it’s not because you’re a cold and uncaring person.

Sometimes, not feeling anything is the only way you can cope.

Be prepared for a delayed reaction, too. It’s very common to be totally calm during a crisis, and then days or weeks (or years) later suddenly get hit with a tidal wave of “HOLY SHIT THAT HAPPENED.”

Sometimes your mind waits until it feels safe to start processing things emotionally. It’s a powerful survival strategy, but it can really blindside you, because just as you start to feel like things are okay, you’re overwhelmed by the realization of how not-okay things were before.

This may not happen, and that’s okay too. But it’s something to watch out for when your initial reaction is numbness.

It’s also okay to have seemingly inconsistent reactions sometimes, or reactions that seem contrary, especially if you’re exhausted or in shock. Be open to how you feel, and accept it.

You know what pisses me off? Coping mechanisms. Why do I have to try to cope with the fact that my parents abused me, my classmates beat me up with the teachers’ blessing, and Marvel made utterly evil fascist movies? Why is it my job to live with their evil deeds instead of their job to make amends for them?

Because some people are evil and they won’t make amends because they feel no remorse. But it pisses me off.


I crave the ones who’ve seen confusion and know struggle, who have pulled themselves up from the shackles of heartache and strife, disappointment and darkness, exhaustion and drain and have risen with a heart as open and unwaveringly wide as the ocean itself. Give me those people. The brave, the vulnerable, the wise, the ones who cares for a world and how to better it along with themselves. To know their ability in making waves in shifting patterns with tides and in creating change. Let us become that open ocean…. and make it rise.

Photography – ‘Bullied ll’ by Tara McKiinney