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I had to make my old self disappear

There's more than one way to disappear.

There's more than one way to bury your old self and start as a brand-new person.

I stripped away almost.... almost everything meaningful that I loved about myself.... the things that really made me "Me" after my first husband died by suicide.

I didn't want to be around or see anything that had to do with the woman that I was before that day.

If that woman liked the color pink? Well, then I now loved the color black.

If that woman liked to go shopping? Well, then I loved to go hiking.

I tried out everything new. Packed away everything old.

This is trauma.

It will twist you around and turn you inside out.

To make your own nervous system feel calmer....

To ease your own night terrors and daily fears of getting hit by a bus?

You might disappear to your old self.

You might hide her away.


Oh, dear ones.

To keep her safe.

To keep her SAFE.

You're protecting her.

Hiding her away from the blinding pain and the consuming darkness.

Shielding her from their judgements and hateful words about your story and what came before the story.

You're protecting her like you would a child.

And slowly.

Ever, ever so slowly you will bring her back from the fog again.

Back from behind the clouds again.

Once you've healed enough?

Now she can dance.

And sing.

Free from all of that pain because you did the hard work to heal enough for her to dance.

Now she can pick up where she left off all those moons ago.

She can start creating again.

Maybe writing again.

Very possibly loving the color pink and rock music again.... looking up at the night stars and dreaming once again.

Dear ones,

I had to disappear to my old self.

I hid so many parts of her away to protect her.

And there are parts of her, of me, that will never return.

And that's ok.

Life changes us.

Trauma melts us into new women.

And we learn to love the woman we have become despite hating the pain she had to endure.

You don't have to bury all the parts of your old self.

Simply make them disappear for a while.

Hide them away.

Rest. Heal your body/mind/spirit.

You will know when it's time to bring her back out from the shadows.

Let her dance.

Let her laugh.

Let her chase her dreams and scream to the world, "This is me. All of me. No one had my consent to take away my love of floral art or wedding design or poetry. No one and no event had the right to take away my love for dancing to Fleetwood Mac in my kitchen or hunting down a good thrift shop. No one had the right to steal me ...... from me. So, I hid her away for a while. Made her disappear so I could heal and build a new life. Find deep love and authentic friends and I could bring her back again. See her smiling? She's happy. She's back. She's me. And she loves the color pink."

Love always, Nikki Bonkoski

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For almost 7 years my blog has remained FREE (and ad-free). Your loving gift really matters. I could put my words in a book on a shelf but for right now I believe they belong here so they are free of charge to anyone who needs them. Words save lives. If you find any value in what I do, if my writing has helped your life and your heart...please consider becoming a sustaining patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good book. You can also become a spontaneous supporter with a one-time donation in any amount. Thank you!! xo


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