I had a conversation today that left me feeling weird. Unsettled. Like I was more stuck than I actually felt I was to begin with. I can’t pinpoint exactly what spun me out of control. In my world of chaos nothing seems to make sense. I try to process and address the issues that come up. But then something else barrels in that throws me off balance that I wasn’t expecting and I need to reprocess everything again. To make sense of it or try to understand, even if there is no way to do that. This sounds very vague, I know, but I want to believe there is someone out there that understands exactly what I’m saying.

Why is this a bad thing?? Trying to understand trauma and process it is hard. Especially when you don’t always believe yourself or have confidence in your own memories or experiences, past or present. When I have been taught over and over and over that my reality isn’t true, perceived correctly, or am manipulated to think my life is normal and nothing is out of sorts, why should I just assume when you tell me it’s not, or something that happens “was totally expected,” that your voice is the right one?

Because I didn’t expect it. I didn’t know it was going to happen or that it follows the pattern of abuse because I don’t always connect it as quickly and I don’t want to believe this is happening to me. I’m still learning this, remember? Why does it feel wrong for me to want to be sure about something before believing what you tell me? Why downplay my feelings in the moment and say something dismissive like I just need to “move on” or “focus on me?” Aren’t I doing that by trying to gain understanding? Is it really that hard to listen to me process out loud or revisit something again?

Maybe I just need to hear over and over and over that I’m not crazy. Maybe I need to hear more than 5 times (or 100) what the pattern of abuse is and that’s what was happening again. Maybe I need to hear it like it was the first time hearing it. Isn’t that how I learned to conform before all of this chaos began to emerge? Maybe it will take me 5 years of hearing this to really believe it when that information competes with 40 years of learning and hearing something different. Maybe I need to stay in this spot a little longer before “the next step” in my healing so I really understand what has happened and can begin to accept it because I feel really confused and unsure right now about everything. So why would I move to the next thing when I’m not even sure where I am in this moment?

Maybe after having a brain scan that verifies and validates I have trauma markers from the past and present was really a lot to absorb when all along I’ve been trying to find ways that I was wrong that this all existed. Maybe I need more answers to my questions about that because a ten minute explanation wasn’t really enough. Maybe. Maybe not. All I know is that I feel like I was hit by a truck two times this week, even though what happened in the first incident and what I learned in the second were both “expected.” But it doesn’t mean that it is as easy for me to move forward and move on as it is for you.

I still have voices in my head that yell at me from the past. And they still yell at me in the present to try and maintain control of me. I’ve just learned to recognize these voices. I’m still learning that maybe those voices are not what I’m supposed to be listening to or following. It’s a process. It’s my process. Sometimes I just need to revisit and reprocess and think about it again. Not because I’m trying to spin my wheels and stay stuck. But because I’m trying to spin them out of the mud, and sometimes that means moving backwards to reposition the wheels so the treads can grip something new to pull me out.

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38 thoughts on “Stuck…

  1. First let me say that you are not crazy! You do not have to and cannot live by anyone’s expectations of where you should be. I very much understand everything you express here. Everyone wants you to face things you want to forget. With abuse we can’t face it, it is too painful to take in so we hide from it and minimize it. And yet we long to heal from it. This is all a painful dilemma!

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    1. A very painful predicament indeed. And it’s all the more complicated when you realize that it’s not all just in the past and you are still living with the abuse but in different forms. You know (or are told you know) you have the ability to walk away now and heal but the strongholds of yourself and others are hard to let go of. It’s a violent tug of war of emotions.

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      1. Yes, and when you can’t face it, you shut down or pretend all is well. Until you begin to believe it yourself. And when you have children it only makes everything harder. The fact that you even face this struggle or see options is a starting point… progress. You didn’t get where you are overnight and it takes time to face losing your life and your dreams. No matter how painful of a sutuation you are in. And anyone who does not understand that is not worthy of an opinion!

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  2. SK, Blue Sky is right, I think we all process trauma a bit differently just as we are all individuals. I could never tell another how to process or deal with something, I could only tell someone what I did or what worked for me. Only recently have I come to terms with the voice in my head that was planted there as a child. I have forgiven him and now struggle to regain control of the control I gave him as an adult. Decades of self- flagellation aren’t undone overnight. Bad habits have to be broken and healthy habits created and put in their place. Praying for you!❤️ Barney

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    1. I wonder sometimes why some don’t understand why it can take just as long to form a healthier habit or way of thinking. When the negative is so ingrained, and like you said, take decades to form, why should we, or anyone, assume that those habits or modes of thinking will just die off as soon as we realize they are not. If only we could chop our thoughts with an ax and kill them like cutting down a tree. But for some reason, there is always a little shoot waiting to regrow and take over again. If only there was Round Up for our minds. Thank you for your encouragement and for sharing your thoughts.

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  3. You are NOT crazy. And anyone who tries to make you feel less than while trying to sort through your process is wrong. All too often, people who are guilty of harming others want you to move on and trust them without proving they are worth that trust. Don’t let them push you. Take all the time you need.

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    1. Some thoughts that stuck out for me that I could 100% relate to or have experienced as I listened to this…

      “People with trauma don’t want to just survive. Life post trauma…life is reorganized for you…and the pain is unbearable. Alienation occurs. Quality of life plummets. This cycle is life threatening. How do I reconstruct my life when I feel like I have no control? The urge to pull away from pain is instinctual. This is normal. Reengagement needs to occur. This is where healing begins to occur. Relationships matter to healing. People can endure if they have even one person. There is struggle to reemerge. Without the struggle the new entity will not occur. There is a cost if things are achieved to easily.”

      Thank you for sharing this. There was a lot that resonated with me in this presentation. But two things in particular. One, that relationships and community are important. This has been a theme that has been coming up over and over for me. I will need to emerge from my isolated “comfort zone” to connect with others. It’ll be very hard to trust and I will needs to reinvent my entire world and start over due to my own personal circumstances. It feels very overwhelming but it will be necessary at some point. And two, that the struggle is very real and essentially needed. My gut is telling me not to fly through this as quickly as I can. But to stop and breathe and review and revisit every once in awhile when I need to. I hate the struggle, but intuitively, I already know that I need it. Maybe rocking back and forth in this mud pit is not so bad and doesn’t indicate I’m truly stuck here…and I actually might need it to build strength and gain momentum to move forward and will eventually benefit from it.

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      1. You have a tremendous introspection and awareness.
        To see your suffering and your struggle to get out of it makes me humble.
        With all that you have written here in your blog, you have already achieved a lot.
        You have put yourself on your path of healing and you have passed the point of no return.
        Taking one step at a time, at your own measure and at your own pace you will continue heading into the direction that is right for you.
        I know this is a long hard road ahead. At the same time I don’t have the slightest doubt that you will achieve all that is important for you on this path.

        I do believe that a blog like yours contributes to making this world a better place. Your voice needs to be heard and what you have got to say is important.

        Every abuse happening is a failure of society, of familiy, of friendship. It does matter that you are save and that you can lead a fullfilling life in love and peace. Even if you would stay totally annonymous in your suffering, what you have to endure is hurting society in its core. You do matter! You are in the heart of what really matters. Now that you have found a voice, there is no way of ignoring it.

        I hope you see and feel that you are not alone in your struggle. I hope that you and the people you meet blogging will collaborate to support eachother in reclaiming a territory of love, compassion, and humanity that we are all longing for to live in.

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  4. I also wanted to tell you that when I was in the midst of an abusive marriage, if anyone would have made me feel like I should be doing something different it would have made me shut down and withdraw. I know you are doing the best you can in the circumstance you are in. My God, the fact that you are able to even hint at what is going on with you is a remarkable effort. These are huge steps for you. And no one should scare you away from this. Right now it may be all you can do. And it is more than enough. The reality is that you are doing an amazing job. You are a precious soul. You are more than okay. Your emotions, and feelings, and reactions are absolutely appropriate and spot on. You are wonderful! Please keep writing. We hear you, we get you, and we support you!

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    1. Shut down and withdraw is my usual MO and I’ve been living in that space for a long time. It’s hard not to go there because it gives the false impression that it’s the easier route. I’m finding, though, that it’s becoming harder for me to go that direction but I also can’t just figure something out and just “go with it” because it makes sense to someone else. It sticks with me longer than that, and not always by choice…if that makes sense.

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      1. When you live for a long time having to shut down and withdraw in order to survive, it becomes very difficult to come out of that space or not constantly go back to it. You are very wise to not just take anyone’s advice. Your decisions need to be just that, yours! You are the one who has to live with the consequences of the decisions you make. And only you can know whether a decision is right for you. Timing is a huge factor in the decisions we make as well. Which is another reason why someone can only encourage and empower you, but never know what truly is right for you.

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  5. You’re not crazy. Each of us has a different process…each abuse survivor is shaped by a different set of traumas in different communities at different points in history. We may share a set of common symptoms but those symptoms have a unique meaning for each person. There is no right or perfect way to approach one’s pain but owning it is important to being whole. You are not required to be perfect at it.

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  6. You have to process and move in your time, in your way. There is no right or wrong in processing trauma. Talk it out 1,000 times if you need to. Write and burn if you need to. You do what’s best for you. You are NOT crazy. There are crazy lies and thought distortion that you are working on. Slowly, one step at a time. You know you gotta rock the car back and forth in the mud to get it unstuck. Takes time. Don’t beat yourself up on your process.

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  7. No one in my family wanted me to talk about the abuse by my father. I think it is because it was too painful for them; or maybe it actually irritated them. I don’t know. Everyone wants us to, “Move on.” They don’t get it. You said it very well here. If we don’t even know where we are, how can we move on.

    The sexual abuse from my father came back to me when I turned 45. I thought, “This can’t be true.” Then I remembered my grandmother told my sister about the abuse. She told me when I was 13 but I didn’t believe it. Then came the nightmares of it, realizing his brothers all abused their kids. Then remembering he exposed himself to me when I was 19. He said it was an accident. Hundreds of different things came to mind.

    I went to therapy and realized, yes, it was all true. I told him I remembered; he did not deny it. Years of therapy and God helped me. I would say it took 12 years for me to work it all out and, “move on.” Not that I’m completely mentally healthy. I’m not, but I like myself. I see other people’s dysfunctions and think, “Hey, I may have a mental illness, but I like my illness better than their dysfunctions. At least I’m not mean to people.” lol

    You will get through this. Facing it is the first step; don’t let anyone deter you from finding yourself. You will like yourself when it is over.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. I agree, I would rather have this mental and emotional confusion than dysfunctional behaviors that affect others in a negative and mean way, obviously, because I know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of that. Without God, it would be very difficult to choose not to retaliate. Family secrecy is powerful and destructive. I am learning that. I am very sorry that was also your experience. This is a very difficult road to walk. I know it will take time.

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  8. You are most definitely “not crazy”. The traumas that we endure become embedded in our cell memory and our healing can only occur layer by layer. Then we have to deal with the soul ties that keep pulling us back like bungee cords. All that you are experiencing are some of the same feelings that I wrote about in my book. The wounds of our past are not healed overnight… unless God chooses to do a miraculous work. Most of us have to take it day by day, deal with our wounds to overcome our past. God wants us all whole. Just trust the Lord, hold onto Him. I pray for total healing and restoration for you and that all cell memory of the abuses will be wiped clean and that you can walk into your future like a clean slate… God bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You are not in this boat alone Secret Keeper. I go through the same thing every single say as if it were it were a repetitious nightmare. When am I ever going to wake up? Why am I stuck? Am I keeping myself stuck intentionally? I swear every word you spoke above felt like they were coming from my own thoughts. So, no you are NOT alone Secret Keeper. Let it all out, you will not be judged. People have secrets that they are not ready to tell yet (well maybe except me…or you) But just know that we all truely care.

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