For years I have not really 100% connected myself to all that has happened to me or with me, in my life. For reasons of pure survival…and not knowing anything else. And I still find myself in that way, except the edges are beginning to blur more and more. The ability to not-quite-connect, is on its way to becoming a distant stranger. And shit, that’s scary.
Does the pain really soften once you truly connect with all that has happened? This is something I have been told numerous times. That the pain of trying to live as though it hasn’t, is so much deeper and a shed load more draining, than putting your hands on your heart or your palms to the sky and cry that it did.
There is something SO scary about really admitting that all that has happened to you, really did happen. This past year, I’ve been beginning to learn this new way of being: accepting and really truly saying to yourself and the world, that this shit landed on your lap or dumped itself on your face, but you survived. And beautifully you did too.
But it still feels a LOT less painful to have your ‘stuff’ waiting on-the-side so you can take a look, or a cry, when you want to. When you fancy it, rather than when you’re walking down the street or sitting yourself down to watch a film. It is seemingly easier to not connect your name to those words…abuse…or sexual assault…suicide attempt…wrongly admitted to a psych ward by the American system covering their twatting backs, for the most terrifying 24 hours of my life… surely it’s easier if those words weren’t what happened to me, and that those kind of things happen to others…not me. Right?
Wrong…. (Apparently. I’m yet to give my full answer on this one. In ten years I’ll give you the low-down.)
Life, as it so beautifully (and chaotically) tends to do, takes the reigns. Your ‘stuff’ reaches a point when you can’t fucking look at anything else… those simple acts of watching a film or walking down the street, are blinded by your haunting past, and your current existence seems to hold pockets of this chaos that has been, in every corner…every nook…every cranny. Waiting to pounce out when you least expect it, or ‘need’ it.
And that is where I feel now. And have done for the past year. Except there is still that edge of Fear of Connection that is kicking up a subtle fuss. And this is doing my nut. Beneath this Fear of Connection is a foundation of No Trust Whatsoever. I fear that emotionally I will be knocked upside down, backwards, sideways and my feet will no longer be able to hold me, if I truly dive into this history of pain, abandonment, trauma, abuse.
I blame PTSD largely for this Fear of Connection. Because as I began to connect with all that happened, and dove into the therapy game, the PTSD began to surface too. But this, I know see, is potentially an unfortunate coincidence…or something that was going to happen anyway, therapy or no therapy. A breakdown was on the cards for a year prior to mine. Which happen so elegantly.
The way PTSD manifests is a bitch. It leaves my enthusiasm (and ability) to dive face first into my history of shit, writing, drawing, dancing, talking, sharing, masked by a mask of Anxiety instead. I don’t trust that this is safe ground to tread on: the ground of healing.
But what if I do it gently? What if I let my trust build and blossom naturally, without my ever-enthusiastic urge to always push myself. What if I slowly ease into this world of owning up to all that has happened, and all that has been?
I mean really owning up. I do and have been doing that a lot of this ‘owning up’ and diving in the last year, but I still cannot see myself sitting in a group of women chatting about their trauma. Or sitting with a group of people having overdosed. Or reading and replying to blog posts from those that have been through or done something similar.
This is where that Fear of Connection jumps up with a huge RED flag. This kind of fear about sitting down with others and truly putting my arms up and saying just how fucking hurt I have been. Just how fucking fucked up my life has been.
I am scared. Scared of losing any inch of steady ground I have left. Scared of losing my identity to this mess. Scared of kicking up my PTSD to a level that means life is not liveable on my own, and my mind is lost completely to the maze of mayhem that PTSD can bring.
But, as I have been widely and wisely told: feeling the pain and being with the emotions of what happened, is SO much better than all the shitting anxiety and PTSD that I’ve been swimming with.
This, I am slowly beginning to trust. Slowly.