I am a survivor, of so many traumas but mainly of life. In my early twenties I never thought about myself as a survivor, now in my early thirties it is exactly how I think of myself. Most of the time it is inadvertent, my survival, occasionally it is advertent and purposeful, in that I choose not to take unnecessary risks with my life. Although my choice to travel by car around the Sandpit seems ill advised, but unfortunately is a necessary risk.
My thoughts about ‘survival’ and my own status towards it changed, bizarrely not due to Cacia’s stillbirth, but during my basic training for Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. As someone who grew up in warm climates, basic military training during the UK’s winter months was a shock to my system, which was the least of the shocks that I experienced. Specifically my thoughts of survival changed during frozen Battle PT sessions, where I would chant to myself (I think my Flight thought I had lost my mind) you can do this, just keep going, over and over until we were dismissed. I would then stand in the hot shower (there were only two temperatures kettle hot or frozen cold in the shower) and feel the pain (so painful) of my body trying to warm up again, while thinking; you survived.
That was the start, and despite the hatred I felt at the time for those moments where I ended up thinking; you survived, I look back now and know that it was worth it. It pushed me to my limits and beyond, and showed me that even when I don’t think I can go on, my body and my mind can, actually. It literally proved to me that my survival is instinctual, that I am and will always be an inadvertent survivor. Although, I didn’t at the time know it, that instinctual knowledge would get me through the worst moment of my life. Cacia’s news; she is dead, intrauterine. You will have to deliver her, vaginally. The delivery, her stillbirth. The grief, the loss. The infertility, the Asherman’s Syndrome. Through it all, having to be a parent to a toddler.
Throughout, after and now I wonder if I can keep going, if I can get out of bed and do what needs to be done, live, laugh and enjoy, be present. Now, those things come easier, but they didn’t always. They were for quite a while just about getting out of bed and functioning. But no matter what happened I still forced myself up and I still forced life to be normal for Tyrant; toddler groups, parks, play dates, etc… Why? Fuck knows why! It was instinctual, that’s all I got! My mind didn’t want to, but my body did it anyway. It is so well trained to just keep going, that it did it, without me actively wanting it to. It showed me yet again that I am an inadvertent survivor, my survival is instinctual and my body remembered that. But really, I think it more likely my body has alway known how to survive but I have only just realised that I know aswell.