a girl and her boy

. daily life : wool obsession : bibliomania : living on purpose .

Snow and Knitting (and PTSD)

Those in the northeast are well aware that Maine got another dumping of snow. I don’t mind. Not really. I’m over the snow panic, mostly. I just view it as a good excuse to curl up with some tea and knitting or a book near the wood stove.

Winter is a time of introspection, when all of nature returns to the core and builds up strength for the coming growing season. I, too, have been spending a lot of time within lately. I’ve been revisiting old wounds and sorting the past out into little manageable piles again. Every so often this process is necessary. To make progress towards being completely healthy, I have to keep that stuff dusted off and organized so I don’t stumble over it by accident. I don’t like to be surprised by old memories as they tend to resurface at the most inconvenient times.

Dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has been a challenge. In my quest for full healing, I have been dealing with processing and facing triggers head on so they begin to lose their power over me. From the literature on PTSD caused by abuse, acknowledging the trigger and pushing past it is one of the most powerful ways to heal. You’ve got to revisit the scene of the crime in the body and allow the memories to surface. It’s so hard and upsetting. I’ve been doing a little bit of this lately, out of a need to reclaim parts of myself, and I honestly can’t think of a harder job I’ve done in my life.

This process has brought me back to my roots in knitting. Some of my earliest traumatic experiences coincided with learning to knit from my grandmother, Nana Sirois. At first, learning to knit each stitch helped take my mind off everything, it allowed me to channel my focus and drown out the world. Eventually when I got better, it was then an opportunity to be busy, to be doing something productive, and meditate. Knitting has always held an important and powerful role in my life.

And now, as I revisit old wounds and care for them tenderly, knitting is the salve yet again. Simply  handling wool is calming. Feeling the texture between my fingers and idly wondering what to knit it into helps me return to my core, to the safe place within myself, from which to face head on the monsters from the past.

This process has been a hard journey, but the most important one of my life.

Column of Leaves Scarf

Column of Leaves Scarf

Lately I’ve been working on the Column of Leaves scarf. I’ll knit 16 rows or so of the pattern and then rip it out. Knit some more and rip it out. The pattern is a new challenge, as this is my second simple lace project, but it’s given me just what I need. The focal point and rhythm my life has been built out of. The soft click and slide of the needles. The turning of faces. The steady progression.

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