When the trauma train finally comes to a rattling end; the rail car of ruin stops; you must get off and walk. The screeching has altered your hearing, but mostly your vestibular apparatus still sends neurological messages that the scenery is rushing east — even as you walk westward.
It is the strangest thing to walk on solid ground without the constant hum of harm underfoot. Eerily absent is the wailing, mechanical moan from the traumatic train. The prevailing winds of pain have suddenly dropped away. You had learned to stay upright in the lurch.
You arrive at your door to find the children had stretched in your absence, the fat of their childhood has faded, and your frame has aged. The mirror of their faces show you all that you have missed as you were trapped in the train — ages and innocence had passed mercilessly through your grasp.
You sit and swallow the years lost. You cup their faces to your concave chest, “I’m finally home,” you weep. You are consumed with grief — but they never knew you left.