This transition from trauma to post-trauma has become more difficult than I anticipated. The elation has started to wane and the struggle has begun. I mean that’s what happens when the traumatizing event finally ends. Especially for those of us with PTSD. Our nervous systems go haywire with emotional explosions both figuratively and sometimes literally.
As I’ve been condensing my social media presence and working my way backwards through my recovery journey in the process I have been met with an overwhelming feeling of embarrassment for the way I handled a lot of things. In the midst of the trauma these things made complete sense. I was doing what I had to do to survive and hang on. I’m glad that I can look back at what I did even as recently as last year and say to myself: “HOLY BANANAS WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!” because while it’s uncomfortable in the moment it means that my growth is real. That’s part of the process. It’s not supposed to be comfortable when you grow. If you’re comfortable you’re stagnate. That’s why so many people opt to stay in their comfort zone and maintain poor coping strategies instead of focusing on the healing (albeit painful) growth beyond them. It’s not fun, but these feelings are necessary to propel ones self forward.
It’s not entirely masochistic. It’s like when a butterfly first breaks out of its cocoon. They will become something beautiful, and strong enough to take on the winds of changing seasons BUT it takes time for them to dry off and reorient themselves. When they first exit the cocoon after their great transformation they are fragile, gooey, and generally a mess. It takes time for them to get their wings. The same is true for trauma recovery. As I’ve just recently crawled out of my transformative phase I’m still kind of a mess emotionally speaking.
In a way, even as painful as it has been, it’s also very freeing. For the first time since the fight for my validation began I don’t feel any sort of attachment to my public voice. Before it was next to impossible to remain silent as I stood screaming and fighting for the truth. Now that I’ve found the truth, all of this seems much less important. I don’t know why one specific event is what really seems to be driving the need to release these coping mechanisms. Seriously, I know how I feel, but I don’t know WHY I feel that way after something so trivial and inconsequential.
I’m working through it with my therapist. I’m applying new and better coping strategies. I’m thankful that I am healthy enough to look back at my mistakes and embrace them versus denying them. It’s a wonderful thing. I know it’s a wonderful thing, and I know that the emotional flux will pass. I will dry and my wings will continue to unfurl as I head toward my new horizons. It’s just going to take a little bit of time. I’m willing to wait to see where life takes me.
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