I lost my grandma at the end of June.
While her health was not the best, her death still took me by surprise. In fact, she had decided to venture out on a miniature vacation with my mother when, unexpectedly, she became very ill.
Despite all of the Covid precautions I had been trying to take, I immediately hopped onto a plane, masked up, and flew to where she was.
This feels like such a loaded word lately.
It has been an identity for me for a few years–me, the child of trauma.
Me, the teacher of traumatized children.
The word itself, when examined and detailed, feels like a trigger.
Opening up wounds, reminding me that I, too, am wounded.
Becoming healthy–overcoming anxiety, setting boundaries, learning self-worth–is not a linear process.
It is not something that you think about and then, BAM! life is perfect.
It’s just not.
It is a lot of small steps forward and big steps backward. It is learning triggers and recognizing them AS they are happening…or, even, not until they have already happened.
Right now, I am in the latter category.
Trauma is a funny thing.
As I have worked my way through the many, many layers of my own story, I have learned many interesting facts about childhood trauma and discovered many of the reasons why I behave the way I do.
Yet, I still find myself feeling surprised when the sub-conscious takes over and I revert back to those past, safe coping mechanisms.
I’ve written over the last month that I am having a really hard time. I’ve been down…dark, and depressed. I’ve been fighting bouts of anxiety and nervousness, and stomach issues that are a result of all of it, but also make all the stress and nervousness worse.
I have been feeling trapped. And stuck. And hopeless. Continue reading
It’s a word I’ve thrown around a couple of times. An overwhelming wave of emotion. Shockingly, however, while I can feel and name this emotion, I have really never thought to examine its underlying cause.
I mean, where does my shame come from? Why do I feel it so heavily and so readily? Continue reading
For the last 11 years or so, I have sworn off religion. Where I live–in a rural and conservative community–this is kind of a big deal. To some, this makes me a bad person.
And so, it is one subject that I normally do not talk about. I’ve had my ideas, my own way of doing things, and a husband who was in agreement–and that has been enough. Continue reading
On Thursday, still reeling from my latest EMDR session, I
wrote all about the overwhelming and messy feelings that I was struggling with. It was an emotionally charged post and, un-shockingly, one that made me realize just how hard I can be on myself.
You see, I was so ashamed of myself for realizing that I rely on my failures to shape the person that I am. I was ashamed that I rely on other people’s opinion of me when setting my own self-worth. And, I was ashamed when I realized how strongly judgmental I am…no, not of others, but of myself. Continue reading
Yesterday, I embarked on another EMDR journey–this time, in an attempt to get to the bottom of my perfectionism. The journey itself was not as traumatic and difficult as some of the others have been, and images did come swimming before my closed eyes. One image–of a high cinder block wall that I was trying to scale, jump off of, and leave behind–seems especially relevant in my attempt to escape my little town, where I was known, had history, and, most likely, very few secrets. Breaking into my cliquish peer group as an outsider was never something that I feel like I completely achieved, and my experiences of being bullied, not fitting in, and then trying to prove myself and be better than some of them, certainly contributed to my feelings of inferiority and judgment.
So, while this was telling to me, these are not the moments that stood out to me during this EMDR session. Continue reading