Processing Trauma

When I was 16, I was in the back seat of a car that hit and killed a teenage boy jaywalking at night. He died right there in the road. When I felt his body being forced underneath the car, I assumed it was a deer.

I got out of the car and saw his broken body in the middle of the street. I fell to the ground, and then I don’t remember much after that. My sister says I kicked her and screamed. My dad says he picked me up and put me in his car and brought me home. I don’t remember.

When we went to his funeral, his cell phone lay next to him in the casket. There was makeup all over him, trying to cover up the bruises. They were dark purple, stretched over his body, showing me the places where we killed him. I felt like I shouldn’t be there… like I was responsible in some way. They call this Survivor’s Guilt.

His mom hugged me and told me it was God’s will. Soon after that, she tried to sue the owner of the car. I was angry at first. Then sad. Horrified. Confused. Sad, again. I told myself to let it go. And I did, I think, for the most part.

evelyn-mostrom-59210

Today I walked through a wet meadow with my bare feet and saw three deer. I thought I knew what paradise feels like. I felt free and only a little afraid. I felt like everything was good, and life could never be that bad. Sometimes I think that for there to be so much good, there has to be an equal amount of bad. But I don’t know. That is just how I keep myself sane. Telling myself to think of yin and yang. But Chinese philosophy confuses me. Everything does, really.

His name was Dakota. That’s all I know for sure.


19149335_10213571449070717_2766329219155310365_n

August B Pfizenmayer is the founder of Survival is a Talent. She is a freelance writer, blogger, and social media manager. She loves reading, sweets, and warm weather. A story about her life with a mental illness has been published in the next volume of The i’Mpossible Project. It is available for pre-order and will be in stores November 2017. You can connect with her on LinkedInTwitterInstagram, and Facebook.


One thought on “Processing Trauma

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s