Boy if only I could take my own advice right? I learn things like that, the title of this post, from therapy and other sources but the key is believing them and taking them to heart. I try continually to embrace my healing journey but it’s not always easy.
So why is that such a difficult concept for me to understand? It’s a genuine source of anxiety for me. I mean, I’m the one that took the initiative to start going to therapy, to talk to my her about my past, to reach out using this blog, participate in survivor chats, and eventually talk to a family member about it.
So why am I so scared of healing? It sounds ridiculous when I read what I just wrote. Isn’t the goal of seeing a therapist and doing all of those things supposed to be to feel better and be able to live a better life? If so, then what’s my deal?
I’m scared of not being healed enough and that I’ll push aside the trauma and not fully deal with it. I say that quite often in sessions and she always reassures me that she won’t let me forget and that I won’t suppress the feelings any longer. In fact, recently she said that she’d be shocked if that was even possible at this point. I’ve come so far, in what I can admit and talk about now vs what I was like 6 months ago, a year ago.
I’ve brought memories to the forefront that I didn’t even know I had. I’ve remembered parts of the trauma that I didn’t even know happened, and still continue to do so. These flashbacks that I have are my mind letting me know that it’s time to add a new piece of the puzzle to my past because it knows I am able to handle it. Granted it’s only in tiny bits at a time, but that’s a far cry from what it used to be, which was nothing at all.
Putting those puzzle pieces together may be a bit intimidating but it’s also powerful for me to make the connections. I just wish they’d come more frequently and in bigger chunks. Patience is not one of my virtues, but mind has a mind of its own if you know what I mean. I just have to learn to trust it.
Would it really be possible at this point to actually suppress everything again? In her eyes, no. However, for me, I’m not totally convinced yet. I have a mind that keeps me grounded and always is thinking ahead to what could happen. You might not think that’s being grounded, but in a sense it is. I don’t get caught up in the moment very often without analyzing the ins and outs first, the possibilities of what could or could not happen. Often times I talk myself out of a situation or a purchase, either good or bad, because I take into account every possible outcome.
That constant analyzing works it’s way in my recovery too. That can be good but it can also keep me so focused on the task at hand that I don’t “live my life” and enjoy it.
Because I’m so driven, I stay focused on the trauma not only to learn from it but also to ensure that I never go back to who I was before. I rationalize to myself that I can somehow forget what happened and end up suppressing the past again to the point of ignoring it. I simply cannot allow that too happen whether it’s actually possible or not.
I’m learning though, that healing is a good and positive thing for me. If I want to live the life I’m dreaming of, I have to heal and accept the fact that it doesn’t mean I will forget my trauma. It just won’t have to rule my every day existence any more.
It’s a fine line of living life and still being able to feel like I’m healing. Balance is not something I’m good at. I’m more of one extreme or the other, type of person. I’m either way over there or way over here, the middle is a scary chasm of the unknown that I avoid it at all costs. The bridge between the two extremes is not a solid, stable, super structure but rather a rickety old rope bridge that sways with the slightest breeze.
Getting the courage to even look at the bridge, let alone take a step out onto it gives me all kinds of anxiety.
I am learning to take comfort and pride in the fact that I’m slowly and I mean ever so slowly, learning that one can take those steps towards healing and feeling good about myself without forgetting where I came from and what shaped me. One day I will live as a survivor!
Dare to dream as I like to say.