In a perfect world, one without abuse, trauma or shame, where would I be?
I've always believed that I am where I am because of my trauma, my abuse, and the years filled with shame that nearly tore me apart. But out of the rubble I rose. And I continue to rise. It's almost impossible to think of a world without the rubble. There'd be nothing left, nothing familiar. For even though the rubble is terrifying, a monster in its own right, the rubble is also home. It's comfort. Because without the rubble I wouldn't know what they are. I wouldn't have risen, and I wouldn't have found them.
But that's not true. In an ideal world, the world we should be living in, those things couldn't have happened to me, and yet in a perfect world I would be those things. In a perfect world I would belong, and I would be at peace. So in a perfect world I'd be where I am but without the baggage carrying me down.
Everything within me is yelling out right now, because for years I have learned to justify my trauma with the person that I am today. For me it's always been worth it; going through the pain to rise. But as I calm those pieces of me down and think I realize that not all challenges are abusive, or traumatic. Not all are associated with shame. Those are responses. Those are things we've made into challenges, but they never were, save for trauma. But trauma in its essence is not the destructive force we know it as today. Trauma is natural, it's a part of our growth, it's our response to it that has polluted it. In a perfect world trauma would exist, but we would not be shamed for it, and it'd not belong to abuse.
In a perfect world we'd be challenged, traumatized even, but loved and cared for. We'd rise without falling into an abyss so man made you'd think there's a mall within it. We’d be at peace, because despite the challenges our responses to them would be different.
In a perfect world I’d be exactly where I am today, except I’d be the ideal me that I want today. I’d be more open, more loving, more compassionate, more supportive, more nurturing. I’d be me....
In a perfect world I’d still want to be a writer, an artist, a lover of life, and I’d prioritize peace and compassion above all else. But I’d be me. My abuse does not justify who I have become. I was always meant to be this way. I took a more dangerous and longer path, but I am me, in this world, and a perfect one.
We’re constantly telling others how they’ll rise because of the abuse and trauma, that they’ll get to a better place. They’ll live more depth filled lives because of what they’ve gone through. But you can reach those same heights without ever experiencing abuse.
I refuse to believe that in a perfect world we wouldn’t be all those things. If we can’t imagine being more at peace, compassionate and in touch with ourselves and others in a world without abuse and injustice, then what are we fighting for?
Ahmad Abojaradeh is the Co-Founder and Director of Mental Health for MCL, An Engineer, a world traveler, a Peer Support Specialist, a Novelist and the founder and editor of Life in My Days. He hopes to spread awareness of living a life of wellness through his writing, workshops and speaker events.