I never had a clear intention as to why I would start writing. There was part of me that just figured organically something would grow and a pattern would emerge. Since I started doing this blog I’ve had my husband proof read and correct my poor punctuation and grammar and make sure my random thoughts came across clear. I don’t think I’ll do that this time around. I feel raw, this will be too.
I am currently taking a training in Yoga for Trauma and Addiction. It has been amazing. The teacher, a psychologist, is brilliant and such an excellent communicator. I’ve taken so many good things from this I will incorporate into every class I teach, not just for people with PTSD.
During training I broke down. It was completely unexpected. I knew we would touch on things that would make me have ‘feelings’ but not crack me open. I was in a room with 20 strangers and one friend. I felt both small and huge and naked. Again, it was unexpected. Nothing came up for me I didn’t already know. I had no suppressed memories that came flooding back. I have spent most of my life trying to deal with my “stuff”. I know what makes me tick. I’m aware of my insecurities, my fears, my habits and my armor. I’ve worked very hard to heal myself, to grow, learn and chip away at all the armor I put on as a child. I have studied the hell out of myself. Why on Earth would I completely melt down in a class about Trauma.
I believe most people have lots of dark corners we don’t talk about. I can think of so many times when I’ve said to people, “I know this sounds horrible but…” or people have said to me, “This is such an evil thought but…” There are things we feel that seem so cruel or mean and we don’t want to say them out loud and when we do it is to our most trusted confidants. I had a friend who lost her mom. They were very close, she was a bright vibrant woman who lit up the room. Her father on the other hand was a complete asshole and, in some ways, seemed to be waiting for the end of his life to come and was getting impatient it hadn’t arrived yet. We were talking after her mom passed and I asked about her father, she paused, was collecting her thoughts and I think courage and said, “I know this sounds horrible, but I don’t understand why he is still” and then I stopped her. I put my hand on her shoulder and I said, “I know, you don’t have to finish that sentence.” She cried a bit harder, said thank you and said it just wasn’t fair. I knew she was going to say why couldn’t it have been her father and I could see how hard it was for her to say it, so I stopped her. I didn’t want her to say the words out loud and have that guilt. I regret that moment. I took that away from her because I thought I was saving her more pain. Those words hanging on her tongue were swallowed when I intervened. It was not my place to do that. She felt safe enough to speak the words and I choose to stop it because of what I thought was best.
How many times have I done this to myself? There are so many thoughts I have had that I don’t share out of fear of what others may think and I think even fear of hearing myself say them out loud somehow makes them more real. I now believe by keeping them in I have given them more life. I think it’s time we changed some things beginning with the common phrase, “You can’t say things like that”. I’m not talking about being “politically correct” I’m talking about our feelings, speaking our feelings. My husband and I have gotten good at saying things you’re not supposed to say out loud and I think we are better off for it. Those dark things you say have no place to fester if you bring them into the light. I believe that knowing how you truly feel about something also isn’t always enough, it must be exposed. For example. Many years ago, when my husband and I were first together, and we would go through a rough patch my first reaction was to run. One day I was brave enough and trusted him enough to tell him. I love you but I’m struggling with not leaving you. I know it wasn’t easy to hear but he listened and understood. Somehow, him knowing how I felt and seeing me for what was really going on inside me allowed me to acknowledge the feelings and face them in a way I never had before. Because of this I understand more why I had those feeling and could work through all my fears and in this case rid myself of them.
I have dark corners of my life. I’ve seen them all and we’re very familiar with each other. I’ve allowed them to dictate my habits and relationships. I’ve picked them part, analyzed them, spent so much time in my head with them and I have forgiven them.
I never once allowed them to be seen. I’ve never once allowed myself to be seen completely. I have spent my life as a shadow of me. I have presented myself to every person in my life as a shadow and I have been the one in the back ground. I believed that by just acknowledging and working on my “stuff” that was enough. It wasn’t. I needed to step into the light and be seen.
I’m not trying to say that you need to expose your darkest self. It has taken me so long to do that and for me I just knew when I had to do it. Its nothing I contemplated I just knew why I broke down and I knew what I had to do. We all have our own timelines. What works for one doesn’t work for another. I used to tell people to use my life as a cautionary tale. Now I want to use my life, my years, as lessons and maybe hope. I have found such profound joy and peace in my life I had no idea existed. My life has been messy, and it is not “perfect”, but I am deeply grateful for all my battle wounds, they are reminders of the ability we all have to heal ourselves.