Another Snow Day, Another Day Inside

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We are two days into spring and it’s a snow day. Again.

Every time it snows I become more of a hermit than I already am. It’s pretty difficult for me to go outside, even for a walk, until all the roads are plowed and even then it’s iffy. I’m not quite sure how I’ve lasted six years in New England, but I’m thankful for grocery delivery service and all the takeout places that will deliver in the snow.

During any sort of natural disaster or mass death or destruction, I become completely incapable of thinking about anything else. I rarely, if ever, watch the news now because it often gives me panic attacks. It’s especially difficult to go on Facebook and Twitter because of all the politics and shootings and war and accidents.

***

My therapist explained to me that when you experience trauma at such a young age as I did, that the triggers aren’t directly related because of the way the brain is in its early stage of development.

I was five when I survived the earthquake. I don’t fear earthquakes. I fear fire and large crowds and starvation and thirst.

I fear the thought of everyone being in danger. And I can’t often handle it if it happens.

I think more about the end of the world than I do about things that bring me joy.

***

My daughter’s due date was on the day the Boston Marathon Bombings happened. Luckily, it turns out, I had to be induced early at 37 weeks from preeclampsia. But when the bombings happened, I was glued to the TV and Facebook, newborn in hand. The thought of bringing her into that kind of world was terrifying. I often think about having her homeschooled and living somewhere deep in the forest.

***

Every snow storm is a little bit of exposure therapy because each winter I see how the people in New England survive it. They plow. They salt their roads. They buy shovels. These people know their stuff, and that makes me feel safe.

I hope next winter I can drive on the roads. I’ve done it a few times before, but it took such a long time for me to “come down” from the panic. I’d rather not lose an entire day, but maybe that’s what I need.

***

Snow days can be blessings too. When I can’t find the courage to go outside, I have an opportunity to spend more time with my daughter, to reflect, to clean, which in itself is a therapy of always putting things back together, just like I’m doing with myself.

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