Blokes

The past week I’ve felt swamped with uncomfortable-ness and hypervigilance around guys. It comes in waves and some weeks it is worse than others. But this one has been noticeable hard. In a way, compared to just a month or so ago, it is nothing. But it is still hard and horrible. And it has felt quite different too.

I’m always crossing the road and completely on guard when it comes to any guy when I’m out walking on the street. My back is up 100% of the time. I’ve got used to this. Sometimes it gets a touch tiring when I cross the road seven times in the space of seven minutes, but I do always end up laughing at this. And I have learnt to listen to my instinct and if the urge is to cross the road, then I do. Whereas I previously was always thinking I should push on through and stick to my route, regardless of whether I was feeling uncomfortable or not. So actually, the fact that I am listening to my on-guard sense is actually a victory. And, the step to healing and not having to live a life with such high vigilance.

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Coming back to this last week, I have been aware of one traumatic memory that has been surfacing on and off, leaving me feeling nauseas and gently terrified always. I wont expand on this one for now as it means opening up a whole other can of worms. I’ve been really needing to share it, and I will, just not now and not here just yet. I have figured that this has been the thing that has been ‘upping’ the hypervigilance with guys, and the increased uncomfortable-ness.

But then it suddenly occurred to me. Maybe it is not just this. The early hours of Christmas morning, as I was lying there I had a sudden memory hit me in the face. Something that I have not remembered for years…six in fact. Why does the brain do that?! Store these little surprises up and then throw them at you…at 3am, in a friends house, lying on a blow up mattress, unable to sleep and feeling like shit anyway…thank you trauma bit of the brain. But I do also believe that the brain releases these memories to you when you are most ready to handle them. They come at a time when you need whatever it is that they are here to teach you.

This particular memory spun its way into my conscious with a strong air of concern on my part. But also, I find this whole process of trauma healing, quite fascinating too. Adding it all up, aids the forgiveness of yourself I believe. As you learn about things that have happened, you see how they will have affected you and you have every right to spend some time giving to yourself, what you didn’t have growing up. Or what the trauma took away from you. But it is a balance. I am all into letting the trauma surface on its own accord (like on Christmas morning at 3am), rather than digging around yourself. Your psyche knows what it’s doing. As much as it is a tricky bitch sometimes, it does still also provide you with what you need at that given time. The first part of last year, I was digging around a lot. My spade became tired, and so did I. But maybe you have to try a bit of that, to realise that actually that does not work for you. My digging, was more sharing. Sharing all the crazy and intense shit that I had squashed down for 25 years and never shared properly with anyone, and suddenly I had someone sat in a room to listen to me (therapy), so it just all started to flow right out. And I didn’t stop it, because I couldn’t. Overdosing put a halt to it, and I am glad that it did. As my therapist once remarked, ‘woah, all your trauma is all wanting to come up at once!’. We laughed, and I realised it was so true. Prior to the overdose I have just shared the stuff that had surfaced, and stuck with sharing more of the ‘Now’ rather than uncovering so much of the past. I wanted to let that settle itself a bit, as the PTSD was so heightened and out of control, it needed a little break. And this proved helpful. And it still does. It was as though all of that trauma needed to have a voice, which it got, and then it could settle for a bit, only to be healed and ‘worked on’ when the time is right. Which will come organically, I know it will. It always does.

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This memory that surfaced on Christmas morn, was one that I wondered whether it was a big deal…that is my remark to anything intense that I remember. “Maybe it’s not that big of a deal…it’s not that bad…” and so on, are the remarks I always make prior to telling the story of the memory that has surfaced, or the thing that has happened. I laugh at that now, because generally what follows is always something pretty bad, according to whoever I am telling. But to me, because it is just so normal, I struggle to believe it is really as bad as I am being informed it is. Or how my instinct is actually feeling it is.

This memory involves a doctor and an examination of the nether regions, when I was 19. It was so traumatic and horrible, what he did. But the fact that it went down in a doctors office means it goes unmentioned, I guess. And actually, it may have all been necessary, but it doesn’t stop the fact that physicality of it was hideous and intrusive. But this is something that can go. It was gross, it was scary, but it is the terror that you are left with that is the thing that surfaces. The physical stuff can be rationalised and softened…and kind of forgotten. But the flash of memory that hit me in the face was that of the terror, isolation, and fear I felt during the two minute episode. For me now, I hope this settles, as I am sure it will. I am feeling wrapped up in the gross-ness of the whole event, and the feelings I mention that I felt, and never had a chance to feel at the time. But the most important thing that has come from this, is the fact that it just adds to my reassurance of why I feel so uncomfortable around men at the moment. And that it is okay. For me this is the most healing thing of all.

It all makes sense. Not that it needs to, but for me and my analytical bloody brain, it does help. It enables me to go easy on myself, rather than giving myself a hard time every moment of the day. Realising things like this, makes me see why I didn’t make the doctors appointment I had today…because all this had surfaced and I hadn’t realised until now. It makes me realise why I have felt so knee deep in male memories the last week or so.

It makes me forgive myself and go easy.

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All this trauma surrounding men, worries me. The way it is affecting me is manageable. Sure, it’s not ideal but I work out ways to avoid one on one situations with guys, I avoid being in contact with someone I don’t feel comfortable with, I avoid walking around at night…and so on. But the thought of getting a boyfriend and having something at all intimate….holy crap. That freaks the living daylights out of me. Will this pass? I bloody hope so. Is this normal? I’m guessing so, considering. What I share above is just a smidgen on the ‘guy trauma’ I have too, so I am aware that there is a collection of things to be considered. And there is also the fact that time heals so well. So this is something to be considered too. Right now, this is something I need not worry about. But, as we so skilfully do, it sits itself there sometimes as a deep worry. I just will try not to attach to it, and trust that all be okay.

Because it always is.

Love.

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3 thoughts on “Blokes

  1. Hey, good work on ‘blokes’ Summerteifi. Just wanted to add that sometimes it is wise to cross the road, and I trust my instincts on that. I love your photo of the horses in the mist, and the beautiful reflections on the water which seem slightly sad to me. (I’m someone who likes weeping willows). Don’t know about anyone else – I also talked heaps about trauma, just letting the whole story tumble out, and it was helpful at the time. Bit like a dam bursting with flood waters. In these last few months I’ve found that it was most helpful, when I could tell the story to people who have also been through trauma, and are not ‘unbelieving’ or overly shocked by my experiences. Then I was able to focus on the healing from it, rather than worrying about the effect it had on others. Or, absorbing their point of view. Or, being pulled into disbelief and not trusting my own mind. Gradually, the symptoms of stress, fear, terror, etc all disappeared from the trauma that I processed. The big thing for me seemed to be making the time and space to do the work of healing from the trauma. Reading of others’ experiences also helped me pick up some clues on healing processes, and also helped me to feel not so alone and ‘different’ to everyone around me. Must say, I haven’t tested out whether my feeling about doctors has changed… it’s a tough one. Some cultures do not believe in letting a doctor have access to nether regions. Fair enough I say. As for an intimate relationship with a man, yeah — scary stuff! And yet, I wonder if that is how it is supposed to be, to a certain extent, so that we choose well?

  2. I totally get the being scared of guys thing. My mother taught me from an early age (4 or 5) that all men were potential sexual predators(ironically it was my mother who sexually abused me). Being a very young child this scared me and made me anxious of being alone with men. So I never dated as a teenager or had a boyfriend. Actually I only dated infrequently in my 20s and usually due to my naivety( I’d be asked to have coffee, go out somewhere, etc. with someone and being quite innocent I’d never think it was a date until I saw the guy actually dressed up some, LOL).
    Anyway, my point was I never trusted being around men until I got therapy. It was for other reasons but the male therapist was so awesome I decided maybe I was wrong about ALL men being dangerous. So now I’m alright around men but cautious still and not quick to accept any kind of physical contact. I’ve actually not found anyone I want to be around and have touching me so I just remain single. It feels better than forcing myself to be in a relationship b/c it’s what I’m “supposed to do”.

    Hope you are okay today 🙂

  3. I know that a lot of women who have traumatic memories of being abused etc by men often find themselves in intimate relationship with women, sometimes only but often as well as men. I found that it was only after a lot of relaxing with my own ‘stuff’ was I able to be in a relationship (the man i am in love with is my first real relationship and my first love and i was 23 when i met him). Everything in its own time beautifjul one. I dont know your story but from the little bits i do know i think there is a lot of real life expereinces to back up this fear and i can connect with that. Trust and Faith in others takes time and you have all the time in the world lovely lady.
    Oh and another thing I am learning at the moment- being in a relationship, even with a phenominally amazing man like mine, DOESNT fix everything….often it brings it all up even more. It reaally doesnt make everything better. Just like having a kid doesnt make your life automatically have purpose and love when a woman feels something is lacking. Its a myth…fuelled by Hollywood Rom Coms. Its beautiful having love and care on tap but I found so much of that too just being connected with amazing lady friends in my 23 years of being single. And sex…sex brings up so much for everyone i think, and isnt the answer to everything either, its a wonderful distraction sometimes, and a beautiful act of love others..but really its just a thing, another thing that humans do sometimes. Its not an ‘all or nothing’.
    Relationships are interesting, just like being single is interesting too. Its all just a learning curve i think. Learning to be us. xxx

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