When Rory died, I feel like I was changed at the molecular level. That down to my cells, I would never be the same.
I’m not the same, but most of my cells probably are.
I’ve had quite a few mental side effects from the trauma of That Night.
One of them dealt with counting.
Since I was young, when my brain felt overwhelmed or when I was bored I would count things around me. It enabled me to focus in and make sense of my surroundings.
After Rory died, when I would start counting, I would be transported back to That Night. Counting the chest compressions.
What was once a coping mechanism was now a trigger.
I expressed this to our grief counselor. He gave me an exercise to help retrain my brain.
Every time I started counting compressions, I needed to replace the thought with something positive involving Rory.
I counted freckles.
I pictured Rory’s sweet face and would count her precious freckles.
Slowly, I’ve been able to count again. The thought doesn’t alway pop up. It still does sometimes, though.
But then I picture her chubby cheeks and find a small amount of peace.