Trauma can cause isolation

I’m going to church today!  I’m going to try to attend a full church service, in a full church, with hymns and everything!  For years, I have hardly ever even attempted to do that.  I’ve not been able to cope with the music or the crowds.  I’ve stayed away, or arrived late and left early, or gone outside during the music, or sat in the back corner where I felt safe.  Or all of those.  Mostly, I’ve only gone to much smaller and quieter services.

Today, we have the commissioning service for the Wycliffe Hall students who are leaving and going on into Christian ministry.  I am SO much better, and I have determined to go.  I’ve only been to one of these services in the 7 years I’ve been associate staff at Wycliffe, and I stayed outside until after the first hymn, sat near the back, and left after the students had been presented.  Today, I am planning to sit at the front with other staff, to stay for the whole time (I’ll take ear plugs and maybe slip out if there are any really noisy hymns) – I am even going to put on my academic dress!

I stayed awake half the night thinking about it, planning forward to how I might cope with whatever may come . . .  that’s actually helpful . . .  if you go through in your mind what might come, it’s easier to cope.  Even now, I am wondering whether I should back out (it’s raining!) . . .  but I won’t.  I’m going!

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