Try to learn to let go (for OCD, for trauma, for life)



Hello. I am a person, a young lady you could say, if you want.  I recently graduated high school, I'm enrolled in college. I love my family and I take care of people. I have a big heart, I question basically everything. I am very persistent in things I think that matter, and I know how to fight for people because I have been fighting for a long time. 

I am not very nice to myself. I have intense OCD, have had it since I was a super young age. Like, imagine a scrawny kindergartner with bangs covering her eyes having intrusive thoughts every night.

I'd say it has debilitated my life at some times. At other times it's saved me. I have trouble with that thing "letting go" that people speak of. I get how hard it is, especially with OCD, and I don't live everyone's situation, but maybe some of my life experience can help people.


This year, as many parts of my life have ended, (most of which I have been dreaming of ending since I was that young little girl), I have learned from it. 

For as long as I can remember, these are questions I have been obsessed with, usually subconsciously: When will things end, when will people end, where is safety, who am I, and will I/others remember?


The concept of time passing is evidently very hard for me. I know sounds very odd but it is just that; events coming and going, living in the present time. It's always been very difficult. I'd like to think it doesn't show that much on the outside. I have many great friendships and relationships, was involved in school, made great grades and honors, worked jobs, spend (a great deal of time) making sure I look presentable and attractive. It made me so happy when a friend told me that "(I) am the one that is always put together and on top of everything". 

But like, life is a mess. I have been trying to live the only ways I know how, just like everyone, and the ways I used were pretty much not great. 

I mean, I had a mental breakdown when my still, very high GPA average was a few points away from what I wanted. My need to control my weight resulted in me getting infections and my body too weak to do basic tasks. 

But here I am. I did it. I made it. And the people I love are still here, still alive. 

So here it is: 

Learning to let go is a good thing. Here are some things I need to let go/accept:

-Most everything ends. The bad things will end. 

My pastor told me that if it's not okay yet it's not over, you know. I had confided in her about some serious trauma I had went through, and it was so nice to hear from a woman, a religious figure and someone who had gone through similar things, that no God wanted me to suffer like that. She said that the bad things of Earth happen because people are flawed, not because we deserved it. I wasn't tainted. 

- So, it's not my fault. Its not your fault. What other people did to me, or others is not my fault. Even if I trusted them, that did not warrant what they did. They had power over me. But now they don't. 

-Yes, some of the good things will end too. But that doesn't mean they didn't happen. Some good things don't end the right way. Its just life, but if you stay in one place for too long even if it is good, that's a very closeted life. 

- A lot of the bad things have finally ended. I have the autonomy I didn't use to. I don't have to be afraid of some things happening like before. 

- Similarly, it's not my job to take care of everyone. It's not your job either. 

- I can't save/help everyone all the time. No matter how much they deserve a good life. No matter how much I love them. You can't burn yourself at both ends trying to take care of everyone else, it's not sustainable. 

-But people don't end, not really. I know that. Even if they're dead, or the parts of them you loved are gone, or you couldn't save them, or you went apart. 

I know that because I can still remember my sisters laughs. I can still remember my mom singing to me. I remember when people weren't cruel and I wasn't afraid. I know because I have my grandma's stank face. I can still remember the smell of the smoke from good fires and good people who happened to have cigarettes every time I visited them. I know because I know to be cautious in my blood. We exist in prayers and tears and laughs. 

I have lived my life so scared about what will happen to my loved ones if I die or can't help them. What will happen if they die or change. Repeated emotional trauma and terminal illness will do that to a people. 

But if I'm honest I've also been terrified that I will have lived a life like I always wanted, happy and free and unafraid, and that I won't remember it.  Because memory, I'm obsessed with it, but I'm not always that great at it. 

I guess I remember when my brain made me forget that I was assaulted to survive. I remember the vacant look in my mom's eyes like she forgot we were there, I remember forgetting everything. I remember the fear and the trauma induced craziness. 

So I've lived my life in boxes. Every day, every moment. I make sure it's there, even if I don't feel real, or alive in the moment. Even though most of my memories are a birds eye view of myself, dissociating and the body image of it all and the who am I?...

- Someone knows who I am. Someone knows who you are too.  For example, my mom says I am her daughter all the time. I told my sister I will always be her sister, and people that I will always be their friend. I am a fine person. I have loved a lot of people. I'lI have lived and done things. I have laughed and cried and I made people happy. I made people so happy, and I made things good. That's who I am, and what will remain. 

So I was at graduation, right. I always imagined what it would look like since I was very young. I dreamed of it. It would be the end to many bad things in my life hopefully.  The reality was it was quick and I probably dissociated at least ten times. People annoyed me. It was awkwardly sweaty (the big moments we wait for often are like this, way less than I expected). I was standing in that theater, with my medals and my fancy robe, and all the teachers with their fancy robes and hundreds of people looking at me. 

One of the faculty made a short speech. It pulled me back into reality where I let myself smile and let my shoulders down and hands un-clench (because my family and other people were there, something could always go wrong, I was on edge like always). 

But then he said basically something like:

"you will end. People wont remember what you said or what you did (exactly). But they will remember how you made them feel"

So that first sentence was terrifying, but the second I really needed. 

I will live on in people's memories. I made people happy, and amused and uplifted. I left a good place in their hearts. Maybe I really can live on like I believe other people do. 

I can't say I'll always be right there with people. But I will always love them. And some of them will always love  me, in any time and space. 

Because as the show Bones said, and I hope it's true, that time is happening all around us. All the good times, they're still there, somewhere. And as the show the Haunting of Hill House (very good for showing how people cope with childhood trauma) said something like how time falls around us like rain, and that what really matters is that you loved and you were loved. 

And I've always been entirely of love, no matter the pain I came out of or started in. 

I'm scared a great deal of the time, that because I have seen examples of how to be a very cruel person at a very formative age, that I may become like that too, that surviving will require it like for others I've seen. That it's inside of me. But I am not going to let that happen. 

And I also remember that I have known since I was a child that I would rather live with love, than a life with anything else. 

I have been and have grown to be kind and strong despite living in an environment made out of fear. 

I still have that. 

And so, it helps to let things go, when there is no benefit to holding onto them any more. Control over your body is a right, control over your actions is too, and control over your mind is very difficult. 

But I cant control my life. 

Bad things will happen. I've worn myself out far too much trying to fight that inevitability, no matter how justified or well planned. 

I forgive myself as I forgive those who hurt me (I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive the people who hurt the people Iove).

But it's a start. 

I can finally live my life. For me that means I'm gonna go to school, no matter how much debt I'm going to be in because it is my dream. And it's finally happening now. 

You got to live your life as it happens. 


United States of America