FORGIVE YOURSELF, IT'S THE TRAUMA TALKING ...
FORGIVE YOURSELF, ITS THE TRAUMA TALKING ...
FORGIVE YOURSELF, ITS THE TRAUMA TALKING ...
I’ll never forget the first time cruel words came shooting out my mouth, toward my beloved boyfriend.
It was the summer of 2015. We had just moved in together. I was making us lasagna for lunch, before he left for his afternoon shift at work. I appreciated and loved this man more than life itself, but something took over me as I set down the last table setting and he pulled out my chair with a huge smile on his face.
How could I feel so weird inside, a kind of urge to be destructive, at this happy moment? I wondered.
He chit-chatted about the apartment building manager, Judy. She was nice, gave our dog Max treats every time he walked by her office. Oh and he found the perfect dog park, closer than the one we went to last night …
“YOU KNOW WHAT?” I said, my tone surprising even me. “This really isn’t working. I haven’t wanted to say anything, I’m just really not happy here.”
His fork fell to his plate and his blue eyes stared into me, seemingly asking WTF?
Exactly: “WTF??!!” my Higher, Wisest Self asked inside my own head too.
But my mouth kept moving, until I had successfully sabotaged our whole lunch with my venomous words, and my sweetheart left silently to work without saying goodbye. Without eating. Without one of our sweet kisses just a few minutes before, I adored more than anything in the world.
I sat there for over an hour, in the same spot, at our dining room table, wondering what had happened. What was going on with me. Why I needed to tear down the beautiful life we were building, before it even had a chance to stake its basic four pillars into the ground.
I tried to work on my business that day, but I got a quarter of what I usually got done. I just kept thinking about this. Kept wondering what was going on. Was it him, or was it me? Did I make a mistake moving my life here?
Me. It definitely felt like me.
I had started it. He did nothing or anything to even instigate an iota of the emotional intensity that erupted from inside of me, and since we started dating, he had proven himself time and time again, to be a man I could talk to, about anything. Any time, any where. He loved me, through and though. I just knew it.
So why was I treating him this way???
ONLY LOVE HEALS
Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not, one thing’s for sure: only love can heal.
We can’t love anybody else, or receive love from anybody else, if we aren’t loving ourselves first.
I know it sounds cliche, but there’s no other way to put it!
The first relationship to master, is the one with yourself - and it must be couched in compassion, if you want your relationship to be successful.
Your business won’t be fulfilling to you in a way that you’ll sustain it, if compassion isn’t at the core of your relationship with you and you.
Other people can help you strengthen your self-compassion though. I did have compassion for myself back then, for example, but my beloved man deepened it in an instant, as we lay cuddled on the sofa, talking things through, later that night.
“I was diagnosed with PTSD when I was fifteen,” I told him. “I had a bout of it ten years ago, when I worked on that child murder case I told you about, but I haven’t thought about PTSD since. I thought it was gone, a thing of the past…but maybe it’s coming back?”
He squeezed me harder, and asked me to tell him more.
That night was the beginning of a journey we went on together, learning about PTSD, how it can creep back up out of nowhere.
I honestly thought it was gone before then! Now I know, it’s something to be watched constantly, in a loving, compassionate way, because any kind of stressor in life can trigger a bout of it - including moving homes, as we just had, plus a series of attacks his ex had been launching on our relationship since we got together.
Because it was a decade ago, I hadn’t thought about it. That my PTSD could express itself again.
That perhaps it wasn’t even totally healed after that murder case at work, that there was more healing to do.
Indeed, there was.
WE’VE GOT TO HEAL THE DEEPEST WOUNDS IN ORDER TO THRIVE
One of the things about having been through trauma is that synchronicity really plays out for you, as you heal past wounds, and it is the most beautiful, inspiring, life-giving feeling - especially after living for any amount of time (including your whole life until now) immersed in the torturing symptoms of ptsd.
We can’t get to this place without first forgiving ourselves though - and anchoring in compassion, first and foremost for ourselves, so deep that it counters the tornado strength self-sabotage patterns that all trauma leaves behind.
If i wanted this blog to be miles and miles long in length I would write about all the neuro science supporting how much we trauma survivors can really hate ourselves.
Hate is a strong word, I know!
But to simplify the science for you, the brain is formed and structured in such a way that it works against itself - at least it seems to...until you’re ready for this lighter more uplifting stage of healing.
Here’s what I mean: to protect itself the brain shuts off certain areas including feeling things in present moment, because at time of trauma that was too unbearable, and to ensure we survived every minute of it. This is called disocciation.
How it worked for me, is how it worked for many survivors, before our trauma is fully resolved and healed: subconsciously, I put the trauma away into the deep recesses of my mind, and never dealt with it, until I absolutely had to.
Being cruel to my boyfriend, who I loved more than anyone and everything in my world and life, was the impetus for me.
It was time.
I didn’t want to go back into those scary places that had created so much trauma for me, but if I wanted my relationship, my business, and my physical body to work well, I had to.
DON’T WORRY, IT’S YOUR TRAUMA TALKING
Let me be clear that I did not grow up in a family that knew all about trauma or had the resources to fly me off to a celebrity-calibre trauma centre to heal all of this.
I’ve learned along the way, yes, with professionals, and by reading on my own, as well as the journalling and mindset work I’ve mastered over the decades, which I now teach women how to do for themselves.
Learning all of this changed everything for me. Since that first night with my sweetheart, who I’m still living with right now, I’ve received the deep healing I needed. I learned how to self-regulate my emotions, particularly those invisible emotional flashbacks that can creep up on you, and sideswipe you, leaving you beyond confused, since they work in the subconscious mind.
Since that night at the dinner table, when I first lashed out at him (which I later learned was because of an emotional flashback going on in the deep recesses of my mind!), I’m finally able to approach any remnants of past traumas with the deepest compassion for myself - largely in part to this wonderful human being I’m blessed to call my sweetheart - because instead of judging me and attacking back, which I was used to most of my life, he simply says:
“Don’t worry baby, it’s the trauma talking.”
And that’s the gift I’m passing onto you today, Dearest Reader!
When your protection mode kicks in, because of your past trauma, and you start lashing out at someone you love, then feel horrible, tell yourself this.
It’s the trauma talking.
I’m not in any way saying that this is a free ticket to lash out or abuse people, not by any means. We still need to own our reactions, while we are living in a body and mind that still has unresolved trauma coursing through it - but we get to apologize quickly, then move forward in a loving way, first toward ourselves, then toward others.
I hope these four words change everything for you, as they did me.
XOXO Success Coach Gina