Trauma. No one likes the word. Many people try to ignore it. Yet at the same time it grabs our attention.
For over 30 years, I had kept everything buried deep, unconsciously, with out even realising it. Every so often it would raise its ugly head, just enough so it would grab my attention, through a nightmare or an anxiety attack. Even though I hadn’t acknowledged it consciously, it was always there, lurking around. Slowly over time it became more intense and more frequent. Until one day, I woke up, one morning and literally could not function. While at the time, I describe it as sitting there in a daze, I now know I had dissociated. I may have been there physically, but other then that , I wasn’t there.
I had shut down and quickly became suicidal.
Thus I started the walk down a very long and hard road of being in and out of hospital, trying different medications and meeting different doctors with different opinions.But there was a common theme with the doctors. They all agreed, my mental health problems, stemmed mainly from childhood trauma.
Though because of my presenting self, no one wanted to delve in to my past. My doctors were always too concerned about rocking the boat and causing me to become even more unstable then what I was.
Years of going through trauma, without processing it, was catching up and taking its toll on my body. My survival technique ( though not a very good one ) was to keep pushing it aside and getting on with life. My excuse was , there was always somebody worse off or God will take care of it.
The extent of trauma and the effect it has on one person can not be compared to another,even in the same circumstances. Trauma is not a competition on who had it worse, but dealt with it better. Everyone’s biological make up is different, thus causing us to respond differently to someone else who may have experienced the same trauma.
God does take care of everything when we allow him too. But he also gave us the tools to use to aid us in our healing. Tools not only within the church eg the sacraments and prayer, but also out side of the church, for example; medication and doctors.
When we fail to acknowledge the trauma a person has been through, we are denying them their humanity and their right to heal.
Healing is a process. Trauma is not something one can simply snap out of, when the body has had a normal reaction, to an abnormal event.
The body needs to heal, which takes time. The person needs to process the trauma to heal. To heal to be able to forgive and to forgive to reconcile, if called too.
And for that to happen, the person needs to put in the work through therapy.
And so last year, after watching two of my children struggling with severe anxiety and then falling apart myself, I was finally ready to start my journey of healing. Because to put it simply, I was dying inside and I knew if I didn’t want this to affect my children, I had to work on my trauma.
I was not going to allow my trauma to hurt my children. My children deserve the best of me. Not second best or the left overs. But the absolute best I can give.
For me to delve into therapy, is not only a gift I can give to myself but one I can give to my husband and children. It is priceless and one where I give it my all. The therapy is hard and confronting, but for the first time in my life I am not pushing it aside. Because I finally realised,
I deserve to heal and to be happy.
And most of all, I deserve to be every bit of the person God intended for me to be.