The Day Time Stopped: A Story of Trauma, Obsession, and Redemption

Once upon a time, many people were healed by the brave old man Harold in “A Man’s Pilgrimage”.

I was also amazed by the delicate writing of the author Rachel Joyce.

But after reading her second work “The Day Time Stopped”, many people couldn’t help sighing: “The stories in the book are more touching than the previous one.”

Different from the self-salvation in “A Man’s Pilgrimage”, this book is full of tragedy, but it can make people feel the power to regain courage.

The protagonist Byron in this book lives in a wealthy family, and he could have had a bright future.

Unexpectedly, because of a misunderstanding of time, Byron’s life trajectory changed, and even ruined the happiness of the whole family.

So, at the age of 16, Byron changed his name to Jim, officially declaring a break with the past.

Since then, he has been carrying the trauma of his past, paranoid that his mistakes and imperfections will cause harm to those around him.

In the end, with the help of friends and lovers, Byron finally learned to let go and regained his new life.

Byron used his personal experience to tell us: Only by letting go and learning to say goodbye to the past can life look forward.

Crash, often in an instant

Byron’s friend James told him that because of the “leap second”, the global time will increase by two seconds.

For this reason, Byron was worried all day, and he firmly believed that something important would happen in these two seconds.

One day, his mother sent Byron to school.

The moment Byron looked at his watch, he suddenly noticed that the second hand moved backwards. He thought that a leap second had happened, so he hurriedly told his mother to stop.

But unexpectedly, a girl riding a bicycle broke into the road and was hit by their car.

Due to the heavy fog that day, the mother didn’t realize that she had hit someone, so she continued to drive on the road.

For a long time after this, Byron was in a state of unease.

After thinking about it again and again, he still chose to tell his mother the truth.

Byron loves his mother very much, and he wants to protect her in his own way.

So, Byron took his mother to visit the little girl’s family and wanted to have a private life.

At first, the little girl’s mother, Beverly, was quite polite. She said that her daughter was fine, just a little injury.

However, later, Beverly seized their weakness of fear of calling the police, and began to pester Byron and his mother, stealing and borrowing, and she even wanted to get rid of her poor life through Byron’s mother.

Beverly’s desire is like a bottomless pit, which cannot be filled no matter what.

One day, Beverly said that her daughter’s leg injury had worsened and she could no longer walk, so she had to wear a leg bender.

So Beverly asked Byron’s mother to buy her an expensive organ.

Byron decides to hold a concert and sell tickets to raise money to help the little girl.

It turned out that at the concert, Byron discovered a flaw in Beverly’s claim about her daughter’s leg injury.

It turned out that the little girl was injured on her right leg before, but now she is wearing a leg bender on her left leg.

After the lie was exposed, Beverly finally stopped the endless blackmail.

Byron thought the matter would be over here, but unexpectedly, on a thunderstorm night, Byron’s mother committed suicide by jumping into the pond.

It turned out that over the past few months, due to Beverly’s entanglement, Byron’s mother suffered from severe depression.

After his mother passed away, Byron’s father also chose to commit suicide due to an unbalanced life, and his former friends also left Byron.

When all the misfortunes were intertwined, it became the last line of defense to defeat Byron.

Byron was sent to a mental hospital at the age of 16, and he changed his name to Jim, completely declaring a break with the past.

Sometimes, what destroys a person is not the strong wind and waves, but the sadness and disappointment in the heart.

Byron has always been strong, he worked hard to expose Beverly’s lies, and tried his best to protect his mother from harm.

However, the most painful thing in the world is that in the face of reality, you can only watch everything you cherish drift away, but you can do nothing.

Therefore, the death of his mother became Byron’s heart disease and the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

In fact, the collapse is often in an instant.

Behind every desperate and suffering soul is a broken heart.

Obsession is torture to oneself

From the day he entered the mental hospital, Jim’s time seemed to stop, and this stop was 40 years.

From youth to gray hair, he has always trapped himself in the same place, unwilling to go out of the past, and has no courage to face the future.

After being released from hospital, he worked in a cafe during the day and lived in a camper van at night.

He suffers from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. Every day when he returns to the camper van, he has to greet everything in the car: “Hello, faucet! Hello, water glass…”

Then get out of the car and greet again, and do this 21 times.

He then taped door frames and windows and checked cupboards, under beds and behind curtains.

Only in this way can he sleep peacefully.

The counselor said to Jim: “You have to confess, you have to admit the past, whatever it means.”

But he has been living in his own world, trying his best to hide his unique life and thoughts, and he is unwilling to contact anyone.

Jim had nowhere to go, he felt like he had nothing but the ritual.

Later, he met Irene and fell in love with her.

The appearance of Irene made Jim feel his heart move, like turning on a small light.

Jim felt very happy with Eileen. Erin also went out of her way to put Jim at ease.

In this way, as the two continue to communicate, Jim gradually finds the lost part of himself.

One day, Erin told Jim that she was leaving, and she hoped that Jim could leave with her and give herself a chance to start over.

Although Jim was tempted, he still didn’t have the courage to take a step forward.

Still carrying the trauma of his past, he is paranoid that he is causing harm to those around him.

In the end, he chose to escape again.

Aristotle once said: “No one can torture a man but himself.”

In life, there are always big and small regrets.

However, the wheel of life keeps moving forward, no matter how difficult it is, it will end, it just depends on how one’s heart chooses.

If the obsession is too deep and you refuse to let go of yourself, it will only burden your heart too much;

If you get entangled in the past and sink in pain, you will miss the present happiness.

The past is helpless, it is better to deal with it indifferently.

Letting go is the best cure

Suddenly one day, Jim’s former friend James suddenly appeared in the coffee shop.

James went to Cambridge and is now a scientist, living the life his parents wanted him to live.

However, he is not happy and often suffers from sleeplessness because he is constantly harboring guilt.

“Byron!” James called Jim’s real name.

The appearance of James is like a key, unlocking Jim’s long-lost memory.

They talked about the death of Byron’s mother, about the former residence, and about their own lives.

“Many times, I want to see you, but I can’t.” James said guiltily.

“I regret it all my life, if only I never told you about those two seconds, I owe you an apology.”

“That’s not your fault.” Byron finally let go of his obsession with the past.

They exchange each other’s treasured gifts, and their friendship is restored.

After James left, Byron realized that no matter how many times he performed the ritual, he couldn’t really protect himself because everything had already happened.

These things have followed him for the past 40 years, and no matter how he escapes, they cannot be changed.

Realizing all this, Byron cried like a child.

Because he finally regained the courage to live, and no longer has to bear the trauma of the past.

Jim and Byron are no longer two people. He chooses to reconcile with himself, integrates the separated stories, and starts a new life.

At the end of the story, Irene did not leave, she returned to Byron’s side.

This time, Byron no longer escaped, he took Irene to his former residence, to the pond where his mother committed suicide.

He finally had the courage to share his past with Erin.

Mr. Ji Xianlin once said: “Think about life in this world, if you can’t ‘forget’, then the pain will be fresh and vivid all the time.”

Indeed, the person who can really hurt you is sometimes not others, but yourself.

After all, there is no impossible road in the world, only people who can’t figure it out.

For what has happened, whether you are upset or regretful, it will not help except to increase your troubles.

Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, live your life in the present with a positive attitude.

Only by letting go of the pain of the past can you free your heart.

write at the end

In psychology, there is a famous Festinger’s law:

10% of life is what happens to you, and the other 90% is how you react to what happens.

Nine out of ten unsatisfactory things happen in life.

Blindly brooding will only exhaust you physically and mentally; only by learning to let go can you be free.

As Zeng Guofan said: “Don’t fall in love with the past, don’t mess with the present, and don’t welcome the future.”

There is nothing in life that cannot be let go. Only when you give up can you gain, and if you let go, you can gain.

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