I have seen so many posts shared on social media today declaring that "one year ago, we started our last normal week and we didn't know it." Yes, that is absolutely true. But it feels weird to me because my experience of one year ago is different from the rest of the world.
But what is the same in both situations is that we all have experienced some kind of trauma and grief during the past year; family we have lost, friends we cannot see, weddings postponed again, holidays cancelled.
In the interest of honesty, I am absolutely dreading this month and I hope it goes by really fast. There are so many date triggers. So many feelings that I have tried to push back down because "she's fine now". She is fine now. She is happy, she is healthy and she is so proud of her scar.
But still, the experience of the hospital is ingrained there. It plays back in my mind like an old recording. The memories of which room we were in, what state Lexi was in or what operation she'd had that day serve as a point in time marker for what was happening on the outside world. (Boris' press conferences are super triggering for me haha.)
In a true anxious Annabelle fashion, I am worry about being triggered on the dates. That is basically what it comes down to. Which does seem like a self fulfilling prophecy in some ways. So even though I am not at all looking forward to it, I have to figure out a way of getting through it; just like I did a year ago.
I found this incredible article by VeryWell which explains types of triggering events and coping strategies. The article says that it isn't known precisely how triggers are formed but some researchers think that past traumatic events may be interpreted by the brain as current. This causes the body to experience symptoms similar to the original trauma (such as the fight-or-flight response).
We also know that triggers can cause an emotional reaction before a person realizes why they have become upset. Often triggers have a strong sensory connection (a sight, sound, taste, or smell) - in my case, Boris making a lockdown announcement, M&S yumyums or the sound of an occlusion.
Have a look at the article if you think you might need some support or want more information on coping strategies.
I know its horrible to think back on, and I am torn myself between trying to think about it and then bury it like it never happened. But according to an article about mass trauma I read on the BBC, "But to forget the trauma, move on, and pay it no mind, won't help. It'd be a disservice to history and our own minds. Maybe to the future, too."