One minute you are fine and the next you find yourself stuck in the passageway with increasing debility and nowhere to go. So you hit the floor; heart palpitating, hands gripping your head and childlike tears of terror come from your eyes . For me it felt like I was being torn apart over and over again, something I felt very physically as well as emotionally with every wave of memories. A number of memories would take over my minds eye and I would be crippled into inertia, tears from almost every vulnerable discussion where I felt attacked and I became incapable of comprehending what a person was trying to say to me. Not a pretty place for someone who had always been "the strong one." But for the first time in my life adult life I truly needed space and couldn't remember how to make any. I became so caught up in my loved ones, crushing them in their processes, the old patterns took a real hold- no self importance or self care. I felt like I had to be okay and if I weren't okay they would leave me. So I shoved the process away. Like that would save me. At a detrimental stage of the healing process I forgot how to heal. I lost my boundary, consumed myself with avoidance tactics and eventually ended up losing everything I had, so luckily there was nothing to do but heal my self in my own time. The biggest problem with not dealing with it... Is that the emotions will intensify and create destruction if you don't take the time to heal and give it a space to be held. It will creep through your back door every chance it can get, for however long you want to avoid it, and ultimately becomes a way of living. A new pattern sets in as the instability wreaks havoc through your life, grasping at straws, grasping at anything it can to feel safe and secure. But the brain is malleable, it is plastic, changeable and so are belief systems. One of the most important parts of this kind of trauma is space and I don't mean "Go be on your own." I mean that the only way to move forward with this healing is by letting the emotions flow, having a healthy environment where the process can be nurtured and being able to step outside of yourself for a moment and say "it's okay to feel." Just like a child -Emotions can have a full expression if you let it all out in that momentary experience. They feel an emotion, rage it out, cry loudly and usually within a very short time it moves on through and the next task is at hand. -You may need to be held so choose important, reliable people who can help the process but DO NOT rely on them. It's easy to become co-dependent in trauma states because the abused can become the abuser through the grasping at any sign of external stability. 1. You are learning how to move forward so it will take time. Just be gentle with that time factor and do not rush or avoid. 2. Resisting your emotions and memories makes them 10 times more charged, the resistance causes something like an abrasive spark of energy on them. You HAVE to feel them to release the nervous energy and they WILL move on through to return "homeostasis" or balance. 3. Each time you nurture yourself by holding space like it will get easier and faster for you to recover from each bout. 4.The trauma can actually leave you if you embrace this concept. 5.We all need people, now is the time to let them hold you too. So although these well selected people can be let in to share space remember to step back from the experience and give yourself space.
How do you hold space for you? Think of your best friend in need. They just found out their job is being let go and they need to look for a new job but they hate change. (We are going for a less intense scenario here and start to lighten the content.) We aren't emotionally consumed in their worry, there's a sense of "being there" for them, knowing that all you can do in this moment is hear them, hold a space and maybe offer them some advice. You give them a hug as they start to cry, knowing they will let it out. It helps to cry. You know this all too well so you just sit as they burst and offer your compassion. Now.. In your own process it needs to be the same. You might be thinking "But hold on, you said you did the opposite." Well, I did for a while but after months of removal from major triggers I started to remember softness, nurture, space, self love etc. Eventually I came back around to "Oh... I forgot how to heal" so I made the changes and started to heal with ease and flow. Better late than never! But I always felt a sense of wishing I could go back to remind myself where I was meant to say no. Regardless of whether the visual representation of the event is occurring there are some very simple and vital self care things to remember.
Take time to sit with it..
The added pressure of expectation to speed things along or be perfect here and now will slow the whole thing down. Let go of the reigns and don't be too hard on yourself. Sometimes the trigger has no visual memory.. So all you will experience is the anxiety, none the less let yourself go through these motions and don't forget to breathe.
The simplist things are the biggest.. Just come back to your breath, let the feeling in and when the experience has passed try to get some physical nurture. Go for a walk, get a hug (you don't always have to communicate what's going on for you) and eat a nurturing meal.
You might lose things, this will create space.. The truth is fear of abandonment will lead to it. If we cling to the feeling of fear around loss it will usually make us grasp the ones we love. Anything you don't need right now is allowed to leave. If a job is making things worse it is okay for you to take time out, it's okay to take breaks from friends, relationships or anything that is too demanding on you while you heal.
Every time you feel the trauma reinforce positivity..
Getting simple joy from a walk is great but we can become a little too consumed and focus on the pain too much when it becomes so present. So keep your eyes on the horizon, build positive relationships and make sure to laugh. Just like a child- when they have passed the momentary change of equilibrium they return to joy and laughter so it's important to find this kind of joy. It refills your body and mind with warmth and purpose when you laugh a lot.
Being brave will open the doors to a better life here, now. Resist nothing, embrace everything and look to the horizon each time there is a bump in the road. You will heal faster and easier by giving yourself an important place in your life, by being allowed to express and move through each motion.