The road to healing trauma can be a long one.

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I was in a situation where my mind and soul were not my own. I remember the sleepless nights where all I felt were regret, depression, and sadness.

Healing does not happen overnight. The more upsetting the trauma, the longer it takes to heal that emotional wound. Your trauma could have been from losing a loved one. It could have been from an abusive relationship.

You are not alone. Trauma is a universal experience, and everyone has something that needs healing.

Acknowledgment and ownership of the trauma are hard pills to swallow. Especially if you pride yourself on being a strong and level-headed person. There comes a time when you realize you cannot control the troubles life throws at you, neither can you build a wall around you for the rest of your life. …


Each for a specific reason.

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There’s a saying that everyone will fall in love with three different people, during three stages of life, and therefore experience three different loves.

I’ve heard that saying many times but never paid much attention to it.

Until I experienced those three loves for myself.

You may have fallen in love over three times. But more often than not, there will be three relationships that stand out from the rest. It will be the three that had the most impact on your life, the ones to shape who you are today.

These are the three defining loves in your lifetime.

First Love.

The young, puppy, innocent love that is bursting with the intensity and passion you only see in movies. You’ll likely experience this love at a younger age. …


I’m awaiting my knight in shining armor.

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I have been a romantic for most of my life. I had fantasies of being the damsel in distress, hoping that one day, my knight in shining armor would come to rescue me from this wretched single life, and we’d live happily ever after.

I was 23 at the time and slightly delusional.

I have never considered myself a serial dater. Looking back at how I approached dating, I realized I was trying too hard to be someone I wasn't.

I was chasing a romanticized dream that could only be true in Hollywood movies and a handful of couples. …


This is the perfect moment.

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It felt like a scene from a movie as I sat at the boarding gate, waiting for my connecting flight to where I would start a new life.

I was 30, and I was uprooting my life and starting over. Clean slate.

Because you don’t have to have everything figured out at 30. It might be the perfect time for you to start a new chapter of your life.

Open that book, turn that page, and start writing.

Your friends might have already started their own business or made senior management by now.

But you might quit your career and decide to freelance. You may switch to a completely different field or you may decide to just take a break to readjust your priorities. …


The art of empowerment.

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Society has conditioned us to act a certain way; to believe in certain things; to care about everything.

We’re guilted into caring about issues we really don’t give a flying F about. The moment someone acts differently, we’re labeled with tags like bitch, rude, arrogant, snobbish, or unemotional.

As a result, we lose focus on what truly matters — being happy with yourself.

Be honest — do you really care about political arguments? Do the news tug at your heartstrings that you feel compelled to listen to everyone’s talk about it for the rest of the week? …


Dealing with stagnancy in life.

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In a time where we are forced to live our lives in confined spaces; where you have to work, play, and shop from home, it can be easy to feel like life has hit a standstill and there is stagnant air around you.

It can be easy to lose sight of your goals and the sense of achievement we as humans are so driven to have.

Being stagnant feels like you’re not in the mood to do anything. It means you turn to sleep, mindless TV, or games for comfort. You’re overwhelmed with the feeling of dread for not achieving anything in the recent months. …


Are the arguments worth it?

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Once upon a time, my Facebook timeline was filled with posts from acquaintances on what they had for breakfast and their vacation pictures — something I didn’t much care for.

Now all I have on my timeline are recipe videos and meme posts, along with selected updates from my closest friends. It serves as an escape and an avenue for inspiration.

I’ve built a habit of skimming through content like it’s a dating app. Keep swiping until something catches my eye. …


Far from an exhaustive list.

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I am getting married in a week. It is at this time that my brain decides to reminisce on the three decades I’ve been lucky to live through and the life choices I’ve made.

There is a small part of me that wonders what if. What if I studied abroad, would I have met my soon-to-be-husband then? What if I played it safe, would I have learned that much about myself?

For the most part, I can’t say I have many regrets. I feel blessed to have a good, sometimes unstable head on my shoulders, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had the freedom to experience life the way I wanted to. …


You’re not behind everyone else.

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I was just about to laze on the couch when the phone rang and my dad’s name popped on the screen, which was unusual. I thought it may be something important, so I answered without noticing it was a video call.

Imagine my surprise when a group of familiar faces appeared on the screen. It dawned on me…

My dad tricked me into a video call with my relatives.

Immediately, questions about my appearance and life started flowing. “What is that bump on your face?” It was a pimple. “Oh, I can see your double chin!” Yes, I’ve put on some happy pounds. “Looks like you’re balding”. What? Really? …


It wasn’t an easy climb back up.

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Not all abuse leaves physical scars, which sometimes leaves us wondering if what we’ve endured was in fact abuse.

Yes. Yes, it was. Because we’re still left picking up the pieces years after it’s over. We’re picking up the pieces even after we’ve made the great escape. Even after we’ve found happiness.

I’ve had three long-term relationships throughout 15 years or so where I was cheated on, emotionally blackmailed, and just made to feel horrible about myself.

I was young, naïve, and I didn’t know what emotional and mental abuse was.

The last relationship was the straw that broke the camel’s back. For the longest time, I felt like the last 6 years of my life was flushed down the drain, along with any semblance of self-worth. …

About

Jill ZL

Lover of the written word and the chaotic weirdness around her. Usually funny. Get in touch: jill_afterdark@yahoo.com / Website: www.jillafterdark.com

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