Any trauma survivor knows that trauma is unbiased and it is complex. If not dealt with correctly, it can show up at any time, triggered by just about anything.
Time is also not a friend to unresolved emotional issues.
My trauma, which has been brewing under the surface for decades boiled over in an unrelenting way on a Saturday afternoon in January of 2017. It set off a chain of events that have forced me to face a part of my life I’ve tried hard to pack away. It happened that fast, that forcefully and it shook me to my core. I’ve had to make purposeful and concentrated moves since.
For many, this may be hard to understand, but trauma survivors know what I’m talking about.
I’ve discovered through some reflection that as the years have passed, I’ve become less and less able to brace myself against emotionally charged situations, or when I’ve lost my most basic sense of control. Recently, I’ve felt the consequences of my responses in ways that I’ve had a hard time processing. And this isn’t new behavior, unfortunately, the damage being done has likely always been happening, I’m just finally aware and old enough to see/admit that something needs to change.
Childhood trauma leaves layer upon layer of defense mechanisms and cognitive responses created for protection; protection from pain (physical, mental and emotional), protection from loneliness and isolation (as a survivor it’s easy to feel like a misfit), protection from the discomfort of thoughts, memories, the feeling of lack of control, and finally protection from reality.
When I think of the things I need to tackle to begin a real journey towards acceptance of who I am, where I’ve come from, and what I went through to get here, I’m fearful and anxious. It’s a lot to of stuff to shoulder up with, to sort through and feel, to face and talk about, and finally to accept.
I’m equally anxious about sharing my journey, I mean who likes to feel uncomfortable and vulnerable? But as much as I fret over sharing this part of my personal life, I take comfort in the support and strength I get from many of you. It’s a sense of support I’ve never felt before. And again, what I’ve been doing isn’t working so it’s time to try something different.
I’m reprioritizing the focus of my life right now; I can’t help others if I’m not whole myself. Most of my life, my need to not break (because honestly, this shit is heavy) has overshadowed the want of dealing with my trauma. And as scary and tiring as it is to walk the edge of this precipice, I’ve done it my whole life.
It’s time to stop.
This is my #RecoveryInRealTime.
Get the book here:Recovery in Real Time: A Trauma Survivor’s Anti-Workbook
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