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An Open Letter Penned To My Trauma

(Do not @ me that I wrote one blog post and didn’t write another for a year…)

If you’re new here let me tell you a story from two points of view.

21 year old me’s version: My dad got drunk, stabbed my mom and locked us in the house and set the house on fire. He was trying to kill us.

33 year old me’s version: My dad, who was losing his family and experiencing very big emotions, got drunk, and made some terrible life changing decisions. In trying to keep it all, he lost it all.

I spent 11 years in pain. Trauma therapy, trainings, personal development shifts, mindset shifts, energy healing, prosperity enhancement, diving down into my spirituality, finding a relationship with God and more to get to the point, to write the forgiveness letter that changed the course of my life for forever.

I spent 11 years in anger, resentment, blame, shame and guilt. Eleven years of why me, why not me, abandonment, and confusion to build up the guts to speak my peace, forgive the man who hurt me, move forward and then want to develop a new chapter in the story.

This weekend, June 12, 2022 , I went to visit my dad in prison- the first time seeing him since he was sentenced. He is paralyzed from the waste down due to his injuries, in a wheelchair and nothing like I saw him before.

My father was always larger than life in my eyes. A large, prideful Marine who was stern, strict but always good for a laugh and a story. Now, seeing him here, as a new person, my eyes were opened up to a new way of thinking.

Our visit together was 3 hours long- a great difference to the only 15 minute conversations that we get once a week. He told me stories, we answered each other’s questions, we sang Prince songs together, and we laughed. A lot. Over the course of three hours I realized a humbling fact: my favorite qualities of myself, the ones that everyone around me also love, I got from him. I kept the best parts of who my dad is.

In this visit, we mentioned the the incident only once. We talked about my life, his life and where time goes from here. He told me stories from when I was little. He asked questions about my friends, and making sure that I was still close with “Chelsee Clinton,” to which he said “i always knew she was your true friend.” (Chelsee (who’s last name is not Clinton but he thought it was funny) is the best human that ever existed. She took an entire day to ride with me there, catch up on all of the growth happening in my life and drove me home when I was done. Turns out theres no checklist on what to bring on a road trip where you’re taking your best friend to meet her dad again for the first time in 12 years…but she killed it anyways).

The specific stories of our interaction are for those closest to me, but I wanted to write to let you all know: that I am ok. Actually, I am great. I’m larger than life as I grow through a really hard thing.

I’ve spent 12 years running from my trauma, when it turns out, what I needed to do the most was dive right in. Ask the questions. And come out, raw, but stronger on the other side. I told myself many stories inside of my head that made the pain that much stronger. What really was happening was I was hurting myself over and over again. And that is why 21 and 33 year old Tamika don’t agree on the description of the event.

As you can imagine, I’m experiencing really big emotions but the best thing they have brought is a comfort that I did not know I would ever feel again.

The wound of abandonment was very big. There is no exact combination that can lessen the gap created by my parents or the event. But I’m proud of myself and the hard work I’ve done to close the walls.

I share this, because everyone has something. A gap, an ache, a longing that they desire. And sometimes the work seems like its going to take forever. Sometimes the work seems like its going to break you in half. But I promise that surviving the pain, working through the same and changing the game leads to an unimaginable growth and a much better life.

Life is too short to hang out with trauma, that bitch can’t sit with us anymore.

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