I've been thinking about traumatic events in people's lives, and how it affects them, mostly because I recently experienced a traumatic, life-altering experience.
I have known for at least all my adult life that people experience traumatic events, and are forever changed afterward. I myself have had a few of those experiences. But never before have I felt as fundamentally changed, different, no longer my own self.
I can't explain in what ways I have changed, other than that my writing is not as funny as it used to be. I only know that I'm not me any more. I don't know who I am. I don't react the same way as I used to.
I cry more easily, and more often.
I spend a great deal more time alone.
I have a strange reluctance to be where there will be large numbers of people, and when I am with a lot of people, even people I love, I feel uneasy, and find it very stressful, to the point of needing a two-hour nap afterward.
I often have a sense of dread, as if something really bad is about to happen, and I don't know what it is or how to stop it.
Anxious. I feel anxious.
Tomorrow is my birthday. My darlin asked what I want. I told him I don't want anything; I am just thankful to be alive.
But there is something I want, and I don't think I will ever have it again: I want my life back.
I want me back.
But I think that me is gone forever.
I'm stuck with the new me, and I don't know who I am.