At the lakehouse this week, we had one rainy day (got very lucky!). So I went upstairs and looked for a game, ultimately deciding upon a gigantic 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, because I am a delusional idiot after three cups of coffee. As we were working on the puzzle, I couldn't help but notice a ton of similarities between the puzzle and our healing process here at PF. I'm not normally one for cliche metaphors, but this really clicked with me.
1. In the very beginning, there are a bajillion pieces scattered everywhere, and it feels completely hopeless. It's overwhelming. Nothing makes sense. Nothing connects. Everyone thinks it's not going to happen. This reminded me of the completely devastating feeling after the D&D, when everything seemed unknown, disjointed and impossible.
2. We realized that the easiest place to start is with the edge pieces. Once we had that initial realization, everything changed. The edge pieces came together very quickly. We had a huge boost in energy, understanding, and enthusiasm. This reminded me of the initial discovery of the word "psychopath" or "sociopath" or "narcissism", and feeling so much validation when we started our Google searches, or however you got here!
3. Suddenly, things slow down. The edge pieces are done, and now we're right back to where we started. It's too much to process, and even though we have a solid foundation, there's no way we can finish this thing. This reminded me of the realization that education and validation can only take us so far. At some point, it starts to feel like a broken record. Yeah, we get it, but why do we still feel like garbage? What's next? Why is this still so difficult?
4. Every morning and night, someone would walk by and take a stab at the puzzle. Yeah, it seemed impossible, but why not? If we got just one or two pieces, it still felt awesome. This reminded me of the tiny little steps in the healing process, where we put ourselves out there and did something small. We smiled at a stranger. We decided we looked good, even for just one day. We went for a walk to clear our minds. We wrote in a journal. Just, something.
5. Before we knew it, all of those little efforts had resulted in a big chunk of the puzzle being finished! We weren't really even focused on finishing it, but our work in between made it suddenly feel doable. This reminded me of that realization that perhaps there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe, all of those people saying "It gets better - everything will change" aren't just blowing steam! Maybe, just maybe, it's really possible.
6. Now, everyone gets involved. Even people who didn't care before. It's all hands on deck! We want to finish this stupid thing, because we know it's possible, and for some reason we care about this goal. Everyone works hard on this middle area, often times losing hope because it doesn't seem to be getting any easier. And it really doesn't. At certain points, we just gave up and went to bed, despite thinking it could be finished in an hour. We start to realize that it may not be as easy as we thought. This reminded me of the enthusiasm that so many survivors feel about "finishing" the healing process. We get this boost of energy, and suddenly we want to reach the end. But eventually, we come to discover that there is no end to the recovery journey.
7. And finally, we reach that stage where it's just as easy as the edge pieces. Things start to accelerate again. There are only so many pieces to find homes for, so we know that every single one will work out. It happens faster than we ever imagined. Suddenly, the entire thing is coming together, and there's seriously no stopping it. This reminded me of the part in the recovery process where everything suddenly "clicks". Like a rolling snowball, every single part of the relationship, our friendship, past abuses, etc... It all just makes sense. We begin to see every single human being as they truly are, instead of through rose colored lenses. We find that we pick up on subtleties, insecurities, and personalities much more accurately that ever before. And in doing so, we also come to understand ourselves. In this moment, nothing will ever be the same again. Our understanding of humanity has quite clearly shifted forever.
8. We finish the puzzle, it feels great, everyone high fives! The one weird uncle doesn't understand why it's such a big accomplishment. But it doesn't matter - we all bonded through this experience, and it feels wonderful to have accomplished such a seemingly impossible task, This reminded me of the friendships & connections formed through the healing process. Doing a puzzle alone would have been very depressing. You would have no one to communicate with, no one to celebrate the little victories with, and no one who understands why it's so important. There will always be the weird uncle who doesn't get it, but in the end it doesn't matter. Those who don't "get it" aren't necessarily bad people. We start to understand that we just experienced something unique, and through the experience, we built a lot of very cool new friendships.
9. There was one missing puzzle piece. But in the end, I don't really think it needed to be found.
Love you guys
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The Psychopathic Puzzle
Like a rolling snowball, every single part of the relationship, our friendship, past abuses, etc... It all just makes sense.
Article Author: Peace