I feel like constant rebirth is the theme of the journey of healing and having ptsd. This morning I just wrote a comment on a ptsd Facebook site of a woman who offers support and tips for ptsd shiz, and I just really liked the words that came out of my (electronic) mouth, so I’m sharing them on here. She was talking about how ‘the new you’ and your ‘new normal’ isn’t forever, it’s just you now. I loved that last part but I also felt protective of the new me, because actually I want this new me forever. The one that asks for help. The one that knows I’m safe. The one that knows I’m loved. The one that loves myself. But I know what she means. She means the new you that is like a fucking stranger to yourself. The shadow of your former being that you get so used to, it terrifies you.
Here’s what I said:
“I loved the fact this said it’s just you right now – just what i needed to hear, thanks. I do feel like ‘the new you’ isn’t necessarily negative though – at all. It’s beautifully positive in my book – its the transformation that trauma brings. But it’s just like to get there, you have to go through the birth of the new you where it’s messy, painful, scary and you meet a you that feels a million miles away from the you, you were. There’s a stage when it feels like what you’ve become is a total stranger to your old self, and trauma has become your main identity. But what’s happening is a (fucking painful and confusing) growth to a new, healthy, healed, you. It’s just like you’ve got to tread that pathway of the unknown that feels totally terrifying and as though you’re totally lost, to then come home to a place of safety inside yourself. I’ve found this anyway, by continuing to talk, do therapy, write, draw, etc. I feel like my ‘me’ has been ever changing through this journey and the new me, meets the old me regularly and it shows me how I have and am healing and heading to health. But I also discover how trauma has become such a part of me it breaks my heart. But I know that this will continue to change as I continue to heal.”
I keep getting these moments at the moment, where I feel like I’m meeting the new me that she talks of – the me that was born this year in order to cope with what’s happened, what’s happening in life and what’s happening inside myself. But the more I am out in the world, the more I get moments of complete confusion, and shame, about who I have become. I feel like since my back, I’ve been catapulted out into the ‘real world’. It’s weird really because I really got a sense of that a couple of months ago, as I got the news to move house, and had been vaguely aware of this sense of catapultation (now a word). But I’d also forgotten. I feel like my back and my illness before that – vertigo and Labrynthitis (which is still semi around but not as much) – was almost like a rebirth. A healing crisis.
And in these moments of being more out in the world, I notice how much I have changed but also how out of fucking practise I am with social situations. I mean ‘proper’ social situations. Like, my woman’s health herbal course I have been going to the last three weeks. In those two and a half hours, the inner narrative of ‘what I’ve become, who the FUCK am I, where did I go, how have I thought this is an okay life to lead?!’ is on fire. Like, my inner critic has snorted crack and is on a theme park visiting bender. Truth is though, if I give myself credit, not that fucking long ago I would never have dared go to a course like that! Just the idea would have been terrifying, let alone just too much. Yet in these moments it’s like I’m beginning the journey of feeling more out in the world, but as my old meets my new, they have a fucking barney and I end up in total turmoil or inner conflict and a bucket full of shame drops on my head about where I am and what I’m doing and how or what my life should look like. And what I should look like. Metaphorically and literally.
I long to hide back into myself and be able to live in the kind of self sufficient cocoon I’ve created for myself this last year and a half, but I kinda know this isn’t true. And it isn’t healthy. And it isn’t what I need. Or, really, what I want. I want a balance and I want health. And I think to get that, I’ve got to keep on meeting my ‘new’.