Trauma isn’t unfamiliar to me and I have been on the road to healing for a few years now. I keep hurting and I keep healing and I am beginning to understand that in order to process pain, I have to experience pain. It’s overwhelming at times to experience the intolerable feelings and despite knowing that they are ‘growing pains’, the self is metamorphosizing into a new way of being, that it’s the process of healing, at times there is an impulse to run away from this place and hide somewhere and stay hidden. And yet, it feels like this healing that is emerging within has a life of its own and I can no longer orchestrate what is coming my way; the pain taking care of itself in its own unique healing way.

I consider myself to be lucky to have found a friendship that offered safety and healing and gave me another chance to perceive myself differently from how I had believed I am. It also gave me a chance to experience myself in ways that were playing like inaudible songs within myself and it’s almost like this person increased their volume.

Yet, what scares me is how this friendship that makes me feel safe in unimaginable ways has the power to completely blind me to its capacity to heal and re-wounds me in such a familiar way at times. It’s a space that has so many moments hanging precariously between healing and hurting, where I blindly fall into the same place I have been striving to get out of.

Most of us don’t understand how a new safe relationship that has the capacity to heal us can become unsafe in just a moment even when we are aware of the fact that we are transferring our traumatic feelings onto the new relationship. It literally takes less than a moment to feel unsafe when we are feeling safe.

So, what does this mean? A part of us is used to the traumatic feelings induced by our early experience of the ‘other’. We internalise that dynamic we have experienced and it becomes a lens through which we perceive ourselves in relationships with other people. If we enter a new relationship that is different and safe, the safety attracts us to take a risk with this person and what a big risk it feels like, and yet the feeling of unsafety also gets activated and one feels overwhelming conflict within.

‘Do I trust you while there is a scream within that warns me not to?’ Do I walk towards you when there is such a strong impulse to run away? Will the next moment between us heal or harm?’

That’s the conflict that keeps playing over and over again. Why? Because, the traumatised part within is looking for all the clues from this person that can keep the trauma alive whereas another part that has started to heal anticipates all the signs of healing. The important thing to know is that the traumatised part has to be enacted and re-lived for it to start getting resolved and integrated.

Trauma is the breeding ground where assumptions breed about the other person. Where we make meaning of what the other is saying based on our complex history. It is just so easy to imagine that this person will hurt us too. It almost feels as if one is waiting for the other shoe to drop and for that person to become the wounding ‘other.’

‘Do I matter to you? Are you here for me? Will you stay? Why will you not be like others?’ The hardest part is looking for answers to these questions time and again. But I believe now that a new healing relationship will have to be trusted in time and only time can heal the wounds of the past. One will go through many moments where a trusted companion will unintentionally break your heart and for me sometimes expressing that hurt helps and at times, I have to experience the conflict which will help the feeling to move on its own. I also feel blessed to have so much compassion that keeps coming my way even though to be at the receiving end of my mistrust might be a difficult place at times and can trigger the other.

In any relationship, caring for the other means accepting these moments of pain and healing and embracing each other wholeheartedly and from a place of authenticity and generosity to contribute to the other’s healing which in turn will heal the self.