My recognition of my own trauma helps me to see how my reactions served well as proof of insanity and lack of credibility–for those who needed me to be seen as such, and even those who did not. A non-emoting unreactive person could literally do anything to me and then deny–saying I was crazy and or lying. I forfeitted my credibility with each of my reflexive meltdowns to things nobody observed first hand, and frequently my responses were to things which had already happened and not clearly relevant to the present moment. I found immense comfort in hearing this labelled as “Boxing With Ghosts”. I can experience intense emotional responses to a particular smell, sound, sight, or touch- anything reminiscent of something I previously experienced as unresolved trauma. In recovery I learned that there are two parts to trauma. The traumatic event itself and then the way in which it is handled(or not handled). And that nobody gets to decide how deeply and for how long a person feels affected by a thing. In a safe relationship a person would ask “What happened?” instead of “What is wrong with you?”
I am grateful to recognize my triggers and to now have the freedom, offered only by adulthood and recovery, to choose distance from abusers and shamers who weaponize sensitivity. To now be able to say “No and I don’t like that and that won’t work for me.” Abuse, denial, shaming—were all traumatizing and alienating for me and would persist to this day if I remained in relationships which relied on my insane reactions, offering up proof by comparison, of another’s sanity, resilience, and uprightness. I was neither upright nor resilient, ever, within those dynamics. I was spinning or curled up fetal style. AND It was needed(and resented) for me to be exactly like that.
When I learned to speak truth, calling out what could be seen and easily observed, without volume or profanity, it was treated an act of war. And then things from my life, only from long ago, could be used to discredit my personhood, sanity, and honor.
I am crazy in some very good and lovable ways, and also in some ways which are more difficult —but still not punishable-unless you tend to be a punisher. I became deranged from not understanding how to effectively deny or deal with impossible pain- and from having not a single witness or ally, from my earliest days. MY Pain was strictly designated in one of the follwing ways: imagined, made up, or deserved—There was no comfort, safety, peace inside the system. That did actually fuck me up and make me an insane person. I will take crazy any day over sneaky, mean, pretending, entitled. Nothing in the way I live my life suggests that I am any of those ways, with any body. Though I had learned and practiced all that nasty shit for years before recovery. We learn what we live. I own it all.
Today, I am considering how I am too much for some people. Too direct, too intense, too sensitive, too hungry, too picky, too demanding, too controlling, too awkard and into my space and quiet time. This, none of this is a problem, unless you need for me to be different. I accept these things about myself and choose relationships only with those with whom I am safe to be- how I am. Should a person pretend or change to forge
unsafe relationships? Recovery tells me no. I am going with that. Should I be punished for that—Abusers will unanimously, but perhaps not openly, agree yes.
You know what is insane? Remaining in optional relationships with people who need to diminish you for any reason at all. I still have some difficult to extinguish ways of being diminishing in response to things that bother me. I am working on that, no longer justifying it.Much Love,
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