I swear, if I had known how difficult this healing journey was going to be, I don’t know that I would have ever started in the first place. That’s the cold, hard, truth right there guys and gals.
Emotional Triggers, Flashbacks, Anxiety, seem to come in waves of intensity. Lately I feel like I’m in the middle of a perfect storm that has my name written all over it.
Do I know that the end justifies the means, that being stuck is no way to live, and that allowing my past to determine my future, is not healthy? Sure I know that, but I’m human and I have questions and doubts of my abilities at this point in my journey.
Will I have these same doubts and questions 1 year from now, 5 years from now, 10 years? By those milestones, I have to be confident that I will have a better understanding of myself and be more capable of handling triggers and emotions.
After all, if I don’t believe that, then what in the hell am I doing all this for? Why am I blogging, doing podcasts, educating myself, and seeing a trauma recovery coach? It would seem pretty pointless and a total waste of time, energy, and resources, to not expect a positive outcome and better life.
I believe that while we never fully forget or “get over” our past trauma, we can learn to handle the memories and triggers in a more self-loving, and positive manner.
Nobody should expect us to be experts in recovery when we are first starting out. There is no timetable to be “fully healed”. It’s all in our own time, in our own way, and the very definition of healing is personal and unique to each of us.
So, the topic of this post references the recent increase, or onslaught of triggers as I would rather refer to it as. Now that I am aware of what triggers me, it’s as if each situation has a mind of its own. Each trigger; smells, sights, sounds, memories, know exactly what kind of strangle hold they have on me and seem to revel in the joy of taking me down.
A few examples of what it’s been like lately; and I share these with you so you are validated that I go through the same feelings and confusion and frustration as you do. I write in this blog as a method of healing and validation for myself and for you all. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still have issues to work through, because I most definitely do.
I am working on them though, but that whole “darkest before the dawn” saying has been ringing more true by the day for me lately.
Some of you may know that I participate in 3 weekly survivor twitter chats, #CSAQT, #NoMoreShame, and #SexAbuseChat.
When I first started in these chats awhile back, I was rarely triggered. I could sit through and participate in the chats and usually feel pretty decent. Now that I have started to dig really deep into my past, and unearth all kinds of memories, it seems like I can’t get away from triggers.
Just about every chat topic, no matter what it is, seems to trigger me.
When I first started reading books about childhood sexual abuse, bullying, and narcissistic abuse recovery, I was good for the most part. I could read, comprehend, and not get too emotionally triggered. Now, no matter what I read, I can only do so for a short period of time before I have to put the book down for days at a time.
I can just feel the anxiety rushing at me like a freight train speeding through a tunnel while I stand at the other end.
It’s unbelievably frustrating to try and navigate this healing journey while it seems like at every turn there is a new trigger, or an old one that is now 100 times more intense. Sitting through a session these days feels like an exercise and pure exasperation.
As soon as I think I have a handle on a current issue that I’m dealing with, suddenly another pops up out of the blue. Or again, and a previous memory/event ends up being connected and making the situation more difficult.
It’s these times when I am finding it the most difficult to remain strong. The ability to backslide, let depression take over, and feel like there is no way out becomes ever easier to embrace. It is literally a daily battle to fight off the urge to feel hopeless.
You know it’s pretty bad when even my beloved hard rock/metal music is having a hard time keeping up with the craziness going on inside my head. For those that aren’t into that genre of music, it may seem odd to think that hard rock can be soothing, but it truly is for me. It’s validating to me in many ways.
I guess I’m not your average survivor 🙂 Then again, what is an average survivor anyways!
I wrote this post during a recent survivor chat when I had to bow out because of feeling overwhelmed and triggered on the topic. So, with the help of my beloved music and my writing, I have found a way to share a bit of my life these days.
I hope you will know that I am always on your side in your healing journey. I am feeling the same things that you are regardless of our actual situations and past trauma being likely different.
This blog is about my real, honest, true life as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, bullying, and narcissistic abuse. It ain’t always peachy keen triumphs to celebrate here people! It’s real, raw, and incredibly hard battles too.
I cannot and will not give up though…I’ve come too far to stop now!
image courtesy of wallpapercave.com
I always appreciate how real and raw your posts are, Matt. What you said about healing being unique to each of us and taking time really resonates with me. There are times when it’s easier to compare to other stories of healing when really: we are all going to have a different experience processing and working our way toward healing. Thank you for this!
When I first started going to therapy everything was a trigger for me to dissociate. I haven’t had a trigger in ages…until just the other day. There was a pretty graphic scene in the book I was reading and my mind and body shut down and I began to shake uncontrollably. After a few hours of recovery, I was able to pick the book back up.