Below is a post that I began early last week but never published. I was hospitalized again for the past 5 days after a mild breakdown the day before I wrote these words. I’m taking a giant risk by sending them out into the world, but one of my biggest goals is to live authentically. And this would certainly qualify.I didn’t intend for this blog to delve into my personal life, but I’m realizing that I can find support from anywhere and these words just might help someone else who is struggling, too.
Be aware that this post could be triggering for anyone who is a survivor of sexual abuse and/or suffers from PTSD. I also mention self-injury at one point. The writing is not graphic, but it is intense and blunt so consider yourself informed. I’ll share more on how I’m doing now once I’ve had some time to settle in.
Trigger warning: mention of abuse/trauma, self-injury
I’m currently sitting in my car in the parking lot of my therapist’s office to in an effort to keep myself safe. I have my coloring books with me (another post of favorites coming soon) and a book that’s whimsical and light-hearted, along with my positivity journal, plus my favorite pen. The cool breeze is gently brushing the tips of the trees and I’m cozy inside a wide beam of sunlight.
And yet I’m struggling once again like I was before my [October] hospitalization. Old habits that I thought I’d resolved are coming back with full force and it’s utterly overwhelming. All the trauma from my past, the very reason for my PTSD diagnosis, is weighing on me all at once; my brain feels like it’s going haywire and making my body not respond the way I want. The signals for pleasure and pain are getting crossed and I’m too scared to sort out the whole mess.
My therapist is fond of saying I’ve already been through the worst of it but I disagree. When I was in the midst of the torture, I escaped into my brain and dissociated so I was mentally and emotionally shielded from the brutality. But now that I’m in a safer and more stable environment, I’m more able to process the actual physical trauma dealt to my body. And damn, it is tough.
Compassion is what my body desperately needs right now, something that was noticeably absent during the abuse. Plus it was concept not taught very well growing up in my household; I learned it best by mimicking some great friends in college. But now when my body is seeming to betray me, I can’t for the life of me practice this skill. I’m battling the intense urge to mutilate flesh that’s already been so brutally treated. And I don’t want my body becoming bruised and bloodied again.
So how do I appreciate, love, honor, respect, treat with compassion this body that’s acting so foreign to me? How do I sit with the extreme discomfort of being physically triggered by trauma? What can I do to forgive the automatic responses of certain parts of my body?