I started my trauma journey to help put myself into remission from my autoimmune because I was told that it will be a big piece of my healing. I have handled almost everything I can physically, but I have read, I have been told, and I teach my clients that trauma for most is a massive piece of the puzzle in an illness like autoimmune diseases. Basically, traumatic experiences live within us wreaking havoc until we get them out.
I have debated writing about it because it is so personal, but I also know that because it is becoming such a big part of my crazy healing journey, I have to write about it otherwise I’m not being truthful or authentic.
I would like to define what trauma has meant for me. It meant as a very young child, learning skills that I never should have to learn. Skills to allow me to feel safe despite not feeling safe. It meant learning how to be quiet to not attract attention. It meant learning how to adapt and to shut down my feelings despite feeling sad much of the time. And it meant learning how to stand on my own without the support that I needed and the boundaries that I was not allowed.
I learned from a father with Asperger’s how to approach the world from a very logical perspective and I have survived there. It has allowed me to be optimistic and to exist without feeling through much of my life. It has served me well in my professions and in impossible situations in my life.
And I could have stayed in that place, but I have been told time and again, that to truly heal the trauma must also be healed. So, I chose to move into the exploration of healing the trauma to support the physical healing. This is important to understand. I didn’t choose to heal the trauma; I stepped into it to continue the physical healing.
That might not make sense so maybe I can explain it further.
The reality is that trauma cuts you off at the legs for learning healthy coping skills. Experiencing trauma throughout my life has kept me emotionally in that place, that very moment when it happened. And not having healthy boundaries has left me open for narcissists and those that recognize in me that which they can take advantage of. I have learned this since exploring my experiences. When I made the choice to begin this experience, I had no idea that opening the doors was going to lead to all of this. I suspected there would be some exploration of my life and I could move on.
That isn’t how it works. The reality is that embarking on a trauma journey means you have to bring the right and the left side of the brain together. I have spent my entire life living in the left brain, burying my emotions. It allowed me to live a happy, optimistic existence. I liked that. I was oblivious to the wrongs being done and the boundaries that I didn’t have but I could get by and I was able to deal with extremely stressful environments despite how sick I was getting. I’m really good at it.
Now that the door to the very emotional, right side of my brain is open, I have lost that control. It can feel like a roller coaster. I am very aware that I haven’t valued myself, nor have I been a priority to myself so why would I be a priority to others. I am very aware of my lack of boundaries and my inability to be angry with people despite what they have done to me. I have been incredibly forgiving of those that have conspired to hurt me. And I understand it now.
What I am lacking are the skills for coping in an existence in the right side of my brain. So, I’m standing here now with these doors wide open and no way of controlling my response anymore. I am on a roller coaster of emotion and I don’t know how to stop it. And it is so fucking hard.
What happened? Why am I struggling so hard with it? I didn’t commit to healing the trauma. I committed to healing my autoimmune and dabbled with healing the trauma to improve the autoimmune. The reality is that you can’t half ass healing autoimmune. Without going the distance, it will develop into another one and another one until all the triggers are removed. Trauma is similar. If it isn’t handled, it will fester again and again in your life until you finally face it head on or live as half a person.
What is so scary about it? For me, it is just that. I don’t have a choice. I have to continue without knowing what I am going to experience along the way. I’m going to have to learn to set boundaries. I’m going to have to learn to feel and realize it is part of life. I’m going to have to understand that when I come out the other side, I might be someone I don’t recognize. But I don’t think so. I’m a powerhouse at my core. I am the girl that doesn’t put up with other people’s shit. And I’m the one that won’t allow people to cross my boundaries and get away with it.
What I do realize is that I owe this to myself. I deserve to be me, all of me. And I deserve to be healthy despite my experiences at all cost despite the people that want to hold me down. So, I persevere. I cry when I need to, and I fight for myself because I am a fighter at my core.
How do I do this? I have an amazing trauma counselor. In finding her, I have found a support group of women that allow me to be me which I am doing shockingly well and to speak about something that many in my world can’t understand. I am learning to be present in myself instead of transferring that presence to others which I am so very good at. I am learning the language of someone with trauma which allows me to give my voice to my experience. I am finding courage in the vulnerability, thank you Brene Brown. And I am healing.