Unexpressed emotions.

Buried

I believe this to be true 100%. It may not be true for everyone but in my experience, most people will trauma need to talk about what they went through before they are able to heal from it. I can not fairly speak for others so this blog will be my own experience. That said? I’ve heard the same thing over and over again.

In most of my therapy, there is a real unwillingness by psychiatrists or therapists to discuss what happened in any detail. Attention is given to the here and now with the goal of working on how the trauma affects you present day. I do agree with this for a certain amount of time. Safety needs to be established, trust needs to be created, supports need to be in place and perhaps a few other things before discussing the actual story takes place. This takes time. Sometimes a lot of time. Perhaps for many people the time to discuss the details just never arrives. They do not want to or just never feel ready. That is their own personal choice and I respect that.

The trouble for me began when I wanted my choice to be taken seriously. Keeping all my secrets buried inside of me led me to the edge of a huge cliff and I was hanging on by one small fingernail. My story had never been discussed, never been opened up for discussion… and never believed by anyone. I’d only ever been 0-24 when the bulk of my abuse happened. I’d tried reaching out but no one had ever heard me. Those who did hear me found ways to brush it all off or turn around and blame me for what happened. I’d given up and I’d remained silent for decades. That silence was nearly the death of me. Piece by piece. Day by day.

The first time I ever told my story as an adult was while I was in hospital. It nearly cracked my soul in half to tell even little parts of it and I felt like my mind would never find a way to get put back together. I felt so exposed and I assumed everyone could now see how dirty, disgusting and pathetic I really was.
As hard as those first days were, it was also the beginning of my healing.

My secrets began to feel the air and began to travel along beside me as a part of who I was rather than weighing me down like the rocks they had been before. My shame was heard and disputed. My guilt was seen and I was taught how to place it in the proper place. I learned that my story was just that. My story. It was not who I was.

After leaving the hospital, I had a psychiatrist whom was a very kind and helpful man. I know he cared but he didn’t really see me. He saw my mask. My Helpers came out to him but he didn’t know me well enough to realize it so he was never able to help them. We never really discussed anything in detail. We tried a couple of times to just scratch the surface but it was almost like he was afraid to upset me. I do not know if that is why he pulled back or not but I can think of no other reason.

I also had 2 therapists. One who never believed anything that I disclosed in the hospital because she was too busy writing copious amounts of notes and being totally ticked off that I had opened up while hospitalized and not while I was with her. Her only way to explain that? I was lying.
I will tell you know. She was another trauma. Just one more professional who wasn’t willing to really stop and look. If she added up my symptoms, my life, my triggers and fears? It all pointed to exactly what I’d been through.
Eventually I picked myself off the floor and never went back to her.

Another therapist was found and she worked alongside my psychiatrist. They both felt that it was better for me to stay with current day issues and deal with those rather than dig up the past. That is all well and great but guess what happened? My mask got better looking while my secrets started to find their way back in to my soul. One heavy rock at a time, they got in, settled down and grew larger. On the outside, everything was just great. On the inside? I was beginning to die again.

You see… these professionals had the best of intentions and I am sure they would be hurt if they knew they had caused me to just close back up and put my mask back on but that is what holding secrets does to you.
The things that bother me most today are deeply rooted in what happened years ago. I do not need to discuss it infinitum, but I do need for the back story to be known so the troubles of today can be worked on effectively. By being unwilling to go where I needed to go, their help was of no use. They were really great people and I liked them both but they were not helping me nor were they willing to hear me when I tried to tell them what I needed.

I finally found a trauma centre with trained trauma therapists and I am beginning to continue healing again now. We do not spend each session deep in the trenches of what happened in the past but when an issue comes up, we do look at where it began and how I processed it at the time. It is in that moment of my history that the damage occurred. I do not need to fix the spirit of the woman who I am today. I need to heal the young, confused, scared, helpless child who is still inside of me just waiting to be allowed to come out and once again walk alongside me rather than dragging me down.

I wrote a poem while in hospital about this and I will put it in its own post. I hope you’ll like it.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

7 responses to “Unexpressed emotions.

  1. This is so true. While it may not be a good idea to serve up details with our loved ones, it is necessary for us to share the more sordid details with mental health professionals or we continue to feel that we are keeping it a secret. And the secrets continue to poison our life. Good counselors are ready and willing to hear and share our burden.

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  2. I understand your desire to keep your blog upbeat and happy. I understand why you want it that way, to help others I am guessing. The great part of blogging is it can be used for many purposes.
    We have stories of past abuse especially on WordPress. Why not share the details of your past?
    For some reason just suggesting that makes me feel bad about myself. Some more self analysis I guess.
    You may get more useful advice from those that have been through something similar
    I so want to delete this comment but maybe it is good advice.

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    • I appreciate your opinion and to be honest, my intention is not to be happy and positive all the time. That is unrealistic. I just prefer to try to share the good as much as I can because there is so much darkness out there and I enjoy being “lighter”. Does that make sense?
      As for details of my past. I guess I am afraid that it will be used against me in some way. If my mother ever read it or… I don’t know. I guess I always fear things being turned around on me but that is life when you’ve been raised by a narcissistic psychopath. Ya know? I will think about it though. Maybe it woudl be useful to others. I don’t know. I do hear you though and appreciate the thought that went in to your reply. šŸ™‚

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  3. its hard to discuss it and i cant believe the professionals who while well intentioned caused so much pain and damange to your system. I am sorry you had to have people like that and I am happy you’ve now found a good therapist to walk with you on the journey. It really does make all the difference XX

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    • I know. The really sad part is though…. my therapist retires in June. Who knows what I will get as a replacement. Scary!

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      • Maybe you then have your answer. Granted professional help is the optimal solution. If that is lacking or not useful. Then online help and empathy is always available. Sometimes expressing your abuse will not only give those that have went through something similar not feel so alone. It may open up dialogue.
        Also. You will be believed in this forum. This is one of the few places that people accept what you say.

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      • Thank you. Perhaps some details will help.

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