Living With Trauma

I used to be the girl who could jump out of bed on 3 hours sleep, who was ready to smash the world, who was like a bull in a China shop… that was how I was often described… the tazmanian devil, the wild one…

Trauma is a funny thing. Behaviour and humans is fascinating thing.  I took this giant trauma and put it in a box…pretended it never happened, denied it to the faces of people who knew it did happen.

Still I lied.  Still I pretended.  Trying to be normal. Trying to act as if.  The truth is I thought it was my fault. I though I had caused it, done something wrong, and that when I got caught I’d be in trouble.

I also wanted the shame to go away.  The shame from the rhymes the kids made up about my family.  So I pretended it wasn’t me.  I saved myself.  I didn’t tell the truth.  I didn’t speak up.  And I had a chance.  So many women did not.

So many were not believed.  So many were silenced.

I silenced myself.  And continued to silence myself for decades.  Not just about my abuse but about anything.  Instead of expressing my feelings, I shut down.  I reacted, I pushed people away.  I escaped – denial, checking out, drinking, partying, sleeping around… and eventually working all the time.

I pushed everything into that box, everything I didn’t want to see, deal with, or speak about.  Everything that made me uncomfortable.  Until there was no room left in that box.

Boom.

Bits and pieces everywhere.

See, I didn’t think it was my abuse that caused this.  I never thought about my abuse. It wasn’t something I spoke of, thought about or examined.  In fact, it never ever came up.  But what I came to learn as I began to deal with my past was that’s exactly what trauma is… it’s the fall out.

It’s the reactions, the responses, the coping, the brain’s reaction to perceived threats, to silent triggers.  It’s the unknown.  It’s the flight, fight, freeze.  It’s the behaviours that don’t make sense.  It’s the silent crying of the soul.  It’s the constant and never ending fear and anxiety that comes all the time, unexpected times and unexpected ways.

Trauma is always trauma.

And the more I took out of the box, the more I healed.  But the more I healed the more I realized how I didn’t really know how to live. That I had been existing, getting by, surviving.

I didn’t how to be someone who wasn’t hiding something.  I didn’t know how to be someone who wasn’t being what someone else wanted me to be.  I didn’t know how to be myself in a world where I had been what everyone wanted me to be.

I didn’t know how to step out as myself.  I didn’t know how to show my scars and my wounds and my vulnerability.  I didn’t know how to be me.

I ran, a lot.  I hid, constantly.  I was triggered.  I hurt all. the. time. I was reminded why I shut down so easily, why I left situations, people, places because it was easier to be alone than to have every single thing feel like it was abrasive, like steel wool being pulled over your soul.

I couldn’t explain it.  I just felt too much.  The walls had been a good protection from all the feelings, the uncertainty and the fear.

But I was still trying to be normal, still trying to fit, still trying to be the girl who didn’t have this big fucking ugly thing happen to her.  I was still half sharing, still hiding, still holding on… still protecting…

Still not wanting to show…

Until I accepted that it hurt me, that it changed me, that it changed who I am, who I would have been, how I interact with the world around me, how at my core, I am always scanning for potential predators.  I got so good at it… being a victim.

Nothing seemed to bother for me so long.  Until just like that, one day, there was just too much in there.  A lot of small insignificant things… but things that added up to a life not lived, changed not taken, of suppression and oppression.

Then everything hurt, like razor blades. And I think, still, that’s my hardest work… to stay open in a world where so many people hurt you, dismiss you, traumatize you.  The hardest part is feeling the hurt and moving on, not putting up walls but taking the lessons.  The hardest part is being vulnerable because vulnerability smells like weakness and weakness smells prey and prey …

Well, you know what happens to prey…

Like an injured animal at times, cowering in the corner and other times snarling with more fight than necessary.  The ebb and flow of fear and trust, closed and faith, hate and love.

The deeper I go, always the deeper I go, the more light I let in, the more I remain open, the more the love pours in and heals my wounded soul.  I take a long time to trust people and I take a long time to forgive sometimes.  I know this.  I am not perfect and I don’t strive to be.

It takes me a long time to trust people who have hurt me.

Not because I don’t want to but because I am fighting an internal battle that says trust and let go and another that screams “remember what they did”.  The quest is always in finding the balance of what and who needs to be let go and what and who needs to be forgiven.

Because trauma doesn’t differentiate the fear.  It doesn’t smooth over the lack of trust. And it doesn’t rationalize.  It reacts.

The only solace is always in doing the work, deeper levels, always applying the tools and for me, writing, writing and pouring out my fear so I can hear my soul, so I know the truth and only then can I act, only then can I move forward.

See, our connection to our soul is through our deepest emotions. It’s through facing the shadow, the darkness, the fear, the distrust, the rage, the shame, the uncertainty.  When we face that we can find the truth underneath and it’s there we know who is who, what is what.

It’s a skill, an art, a dance to get yourself to the break open place, the place where you are  able to dig deep, clear the wounds, the ugly, the dark and step into the extraordinary, the healing, the truth.

Once there, everything melts away as you reclaim yourself, your lost parts, your power and you remember deeper and deeper levels of who you are.

If I can do this work, so can you.  I’ve spent more of my life pretending and hiding and unemotional, walled up, blocked off. Now my emotions flow, I lean into the darkness, use ancient wisdom like full moons, wild women wisdom, journey’s, soul connections, music, drumming to lean in, to move into the heaviness to clear it, to learn from it, to let it teach me.

And it always does.  And with each lesson, I reclaim a part of my that I had lost, that I had forgotten, a power that reminds me who I am and what I’m capable of.

And I know you can have the same success.  Dig deep, face the trauma, learn to live fully within it.  It’s possible for you.  I know how scary it is.  I remember like it was yesterday my struggle with doing this work.  But I was trapped, couldn’t go back and couldn’t go forward.  I needed something and so I dove.  And I’ve never regretted it.  Because while it made me vulnerable and while people in my life had to catch up with the new me… they actually had me, for the first time ever.

But more importantly, I had me. And today, on a bad day, I live more than I ever did before on a good day.

You can do this. You deserve the freedom, the beauty, the life that is waiting for when you clear away what is holding you back.

Always, Stay Wild

Tonya

 

PS… if I can help you, feel free to book a free call with me.  I’d love to chat ->Schedule Appointment

 

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