When I was in high school, I had a physic’s teacher who was terrible at erasing the board. I could hardly read her new notes because the old notes were still peaking through. But as she erased and rewrote, erased and rewrote, erased and rewrote, those initial notes became fainter and fainter even though they were still there. That chalkboard was like a palimpsest. A palimpsest is writing that has been erased to make way for new writing, but if you look hard enough you can still see the old writing.
Trauma is a palimpsest. With each new layer I create, the previous one fades into the background. It will always be there–you can’t take a sponge and water to your past self–but each part is an integral part.
You hope that when you build a layer over the previous one, that the parts that you keep–the ones that you can still see–are the best ones, the kind, happy, joyful ones. You hope that those layers merge together peacefully, that they don’t form a recipe for disaster. Sometimes the hard ones, the sad ones, the ones that make you doubt yourself, peek through and you pray that the other ones cover it quickly. That the new ones hide it long enough for your heart to recover.