November 15th, 1995. That is the day my grandfather shot himself rather than face me in court.
My memories of that day are few and vague.
Flashes of Memory
I remember the hotel that morning, going to check out the continental breakfast, I have flash memories of the detectives coming to tell us my grandfather was dead of his own hand, and that’s it.
I don’t remember much at all of the 3-day trip.
I can’t recall packing up the hotel, traveling to the airport, or flying back home to California. I barely remember my own participation in the trial.
I don’t really remember the inside of the courthouse, or the faces of the judge, the lawyers, or detectives; some of whom I had been working with for a year or so at that point. In fact, if it weren’t for my diary entry, I wouldn’t even remember the name of my court-appointed advocate. A woman that I only remember in essence.
The one solitary diary entry that I wrote about this day gives me no additional details either.
For such an impactful and pivotal moment in my life, it’s almost like it never happened. I let myself, perhaps even encouraged myself, to forget.
As The Unpacking Begins
I’ve touched on this in therapy; my lack of memory, and about how this experience makes me feel. This is a part of my childhood that I never give much thought to. I brush over it in therapy. I can see why, I have dissociated all feelings towards it.
Coincidentally, I do have a never ending ocean of tears to cry over it though. It’s like my mind just wants to erase this day from my memory but my senses can’t shake the grief.
I feel like I can’t catch my breathe sometimes; the complexity of my trauma knocks the wind right out of me when I try to touch it, but I know I have to lean into it.
So today, I am acknowledging one of the worst days of my life. A day that changed many of my perceptions of the world: of family, of safety, of stability, and of my own place of existence. Many of those perceptions followed me like a shadow into adulthood and try to get in the way of normal daily functioning.
I’m going to be patient with myself; I am going to feel it, process it, and do the best I can to move past it. If only the feeling and processing part wasn’t so painful and tiring.
Looking for Ways to Connect With Other Survivors and/or Receive Support as You Heal?
Survivor’s Circle Peer Support Groups might be just what you need.
These small groups meet on alternating Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays via Zoom. In these groups, survivors connect, share, and support each other through the ebbs and flows of healing. Attend a session and experience the magical healing that happens when survivors connect and support each other through shit only we can understand.
You can also book individual 1:1 peer support sessions with Shanon for private support in a closed space. You deserve support as you heal, and I am here to help. You don’t have to heal alone.
I am a trauma informed, trained, and Certified Peer Support Specialist in the state of Wisconsin. I am also a survivor with years committed to my own trauma healing after being diagnosed with (C) PTSD due to childhood abuse. Additionally, I have a professional and personal history of community facilitation and peer work.
I specialize in helping survivors like you make connections between real time experiences and past trauma wounds, identify and communicate boundaries, create self-care plans that work, navigate big emotions and trauma responses, reparent your inner child, and embody your own self-worth through the healing process with confidence and personal empowerment.
These support groups and 1:1 peer support sessions should not replace professional therapy; they will however provide additional support and information.