Monday, July 17, 2006

Another anniversary

Yesterday, it was exactly three years since another anniversary - 16th July 2002.

The thing that was far worse than the bomb. The other time when I almost died. But that time, I came a lot closer. I had to fake my own death to live through that one.
My first murderous random stranger.
My first young man who hated and raged enough to destroy, in his arrogance, heedless of the fact that he wasn't hurting symbols, but people, people just like him, only he couldn't see that.

My first experience of the numb hinterland of PTSD.

But now I know this: that long night of degradation and horror, that shattered morning was my teacher. It saved my life, thirty-six months later. That knowledge so painfully won stood me in good stead when once more, violence was unleashed, blow to the head, overwhelming force, the world went black, blood on my face, choking, can't breathe, screams. Because when it happened, last year, this time I knew what to do. And what to do afterwards.

Last July, they were other people's screams. Three years ago, they were my own.

I only realised today that I'd completely missed the 16th July anniversary.

Which is one hell of a thing: that's healing for you. I am amazed, and delighted. Look at the circles, joining up. I am thinking. Ouroboros, the symbol I wear. It's almost perfect, how the two days have reverberated back and forth, each giving something back to the other, head to tail.

It seems to me that just as the 16th July 2002 prepared me for the 7th July 2005, so then 7th July 2006 rememberances cancelled out the old anniversary. This year, there was no blighting of another summer day. That was the gift of the bombing's anniversary, and instead, I had a Sunday afternoon of unheeding sweetness, without fear, without bad memories.

Enough tears have fallen and I so can let that date, the 16th July, that was haunted, and spoiled for me, become just another day again.

I am very glad that I can take it back. There aren't enough beautiful summer days as it is, without poisoning the few that I have with foul remembrances of mindless cruelty.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to say this

Enjoy all your summer times, winter times, all times.

July 17, 2006 10:20 pm  
Blogger Holly Finch said...

Hurrah!...that is a milestone FORGET the anniversary at last....& the sun was shining for happy for you misses!

July 17, 2006 11:13 pm  
Blogger fifipoo07 said...

Wow what an inspiration! Pippa

July 18, 2006 12:55 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's fantastic news - I'm so happy for you.

July 18, 2006 7:32 am  
Blogger Ceridwen Devi said...

Trauma can speed us to liberation. The Tibetans say that a traumatic experience can equal a whole lifetime of meditation. So feel free to enjoy the rest of your life. You deserve it.

July 19, 2006 8:35 am  
Blogger strawberrycheesecake said...

I've been reading your blog for a while and I'm really happy for you! Keep on shine!

July 19, 2006 9:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel:

You are an inspiration. Really admire you for your courage and openness.
I think writers write to address their traums and 'deal' with their issues in the process.. and I truly to admire that :)
Keep it up~~

July 20, 2006 9:46 am  
Blogger Unknown said...


Such great news - keep smiling.


July 20, 2006 11:30 am  
Blogger Bumble Bee said...

Hey hun,
Glad that this has become another day for you and Hurrah for summer days.
I hope life keeps on shining for you hun, keep smiling

July 20, 2006 1:29 pm  

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