A couple of weeks ago I realized that this journey through all of my past trauma has started to define me. I have become kind of focused on what happened to me.
I haven’t been able to let it go.
This feels like a bit of a conundrum for me–I desperately want to let it go. Sometimes, NOT having any of this pain, grief, anxiety and, instead, finding happiness, relief, and comfort is all I can think about.
Other times, I can only think about the fact that it all happened to begin with.
That, I think, is the clincher.
To put it plainly, this year, I have admitted, out loud to someone else, and internally to myself, that what happened in my childhood wasn’t really fair. Before this year, I might have acknowledged that some of the things happened, but my focus was always on the fact that I was resilient and, despite all that stuff happening, I found a way to overcome it and be successful. I was “okay.”
This year, panic and anxiety, along with depression, stole my sense of resiliency and success. And I let it.
I have felt more broken, more messy, more reliant, and more crazy this year than I ever have in my life. This year has literally sucked. Sucked the life out of me. Sucked the hope out of me. Sucked all of my energy and confidence.
But, as hard as it has been, I have kept going. Kept plowing through all of the muck and awfulness. Kept working to convince myself that there IS, indeed, another side that looks so much better than where I am now.
The problem is, since I have finally acknowledged all the crap that happened, I am feeling stuck with it.
It is the injustice of it all–the absolute unfairness–that seems to be the culprit.
I am struggling to let go of it and move on because letting go and moving on feels like a free pass to the people who hurt me. Moving on feels like ignoring the problem, saying, “Yeah, shit happened to you, but now you need to get on with your life. Stop wallowing. It wasn’t that bad.”
And who knows? I often wonder if it really was that bad. I mean, it feels bad to me–but there are times where I think, in comparison to others, my trauma shouldn’t even be called trauma. I am alive. I am strong. I am healthy.
So, why the hell am I complaining?
I can’t really answer that, other than simply saying to me, it hurts.
I have finally voiced it aloud and to myself. When I think of the little girl that I once was–so eager to please, so hopeful for love and connection, and so full of her own anxieties about doing what was right–I. just. cry.
I imagine my own little girl feeling the way I felt. The way I feel. And my heart breaks. My anger rises.
I could never do that to my daughter. Never.
So how come it was done to me?
Letting go of that feels like I am saying it is okay that it happened. That I forgive them.
But the honesty behind it is that I don’t. I don’t forgive them! I blame them. How can I forgive them when they refuse to acknowledge the pain they caused and seem incredulous that I could even think my childhood was painful? Maybe I shouldn’t feel this way…maybe I need some more personal responsibility. Maybe it is my fault that I am struggling today, that I am too sensitive, over-analyze everything, etc. But there is a part of me that is screaming inside–I never feel like enough because you made me believe that! I pick emotionally unavailable people because that is all I’ve ever known! I sell my self-worth to others because that was the only way I was ever able to find it. I desperately want love, connection, and intimacy and I am still struggling to find it–you should have given me that as a child! You didn’t give me things that matter!
I could go on and on.
So…no, I can’t yet let go. I don’t know how. Part of me feels like I don’t want to. I do–but HOW?