June 18, 2021

This is what it is to Live with Complex Trauma.

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A deep-seated sadness and grief sat with me today.

It is a familiar visitor. The one who comes to make sure life doesn’t get too good and reminds me of danger around the next bend. The one who sneakily comes in to make me feel heavy and afraid. He sits on my chest until I relentlessly tell him I’ve had enough. That I will bend, but I will not break.

He surrounds my head with judgment and feelings of inferiority. He makes me feel like my best isn’t good enough.

The sun is shining and people are out enjoying it, but not me. Today is a day when I must stay indoors and hide from the world, overwhelmed by the voices I hear on the outside of my window panes.

Today is a day when I need to hide under the covers. I will feel guilty about not doing enough or being good enough as a wife and mother. I will feel guilty about the choices I’ve made when I was in a better state. I will beat myself up and wonder why I keep going.

I will tell myself, “I should be happy,” or “I should be more mindful,” and mindful people don’t feel this way. I should do more yoga or sit with my breath more. I will get exhausted by all of the “shoulds.”

I get weighed down by what’s to come. I wonder if I will feel like this forever. Feelings, they change…but what if this is the time they hang on forever?

Today, I can’t find my optimism. I am empty with only fumes to walk up the stairs to my resting place—the place where I can find some comfort on a day like this.

Is it a memory that’s keeping me stuck in this place? Is it something I ate? Is it fear of the unknown?

How can I feel so empty and alone when just yesterday, I was smiling and laughing?

Today, I’ve been hit by a ton of bricks. I can no longer pretend and put on a pretty face.

Today is a day when I surrender to the feelings and emotions going on in my brain. I ask them, “Why?” “What is it about today that is so sad?”

What are you afraid of, little girl? Who wasn’t there for you when you needed them? Who can you reach out to?

I look for a place of comfort and calm. A place where I can take care of myself. A place where I can go within.

I ask for protection. I feel threatened in my brain and body—scared of something, but I don’t know what it is. Should I be worried, or is this my body releasing old terrors?

I take a nap or get some rest. I release what is ailing me. I ask myself what I need.

I remember every bad thing and forget that there have been good in there too. The tapes play, and I need to process and hit stop.

I’m afraid, and I don’t know why. I want to cry, and I don’t know why. I’m overwhelmed, and I don’t know why.

I feel an impending, doom-like something is going to happen, but I feel this a lot. It feels real, but usually, it’s just me catastrophizing thoughts and emotions.

I will use my tools and hope that these episodes get further and further apart.

The sadness is real. The heaviness is real. The inability to face the world is real.

This is what it feels like to live with complex trauma.


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