In my own journey of trauma recovery, I’ve discovered the heaviness of helplessness among victims of abuse. How does one get over the lingering feeling of not being able to do ANYTHING to stop what is happening right now?
Research showed that a traumatised mind lives in a traumatised body that carries all our forgotten memories in it. Triggers appear random outwardly because the corresponding memory was so extreme that the brain has not been able to fully categorise it, hence the overactive nervous system.
It feels like its the helplessness we never got over. If situations remind us of a traumatic memory, we often get stuck in what I like to call ABC thinking.
A happened, so now I’m B, so C will happen to me.
The worst possible thing that ever happened to me happened (A), and therefore I am acting ‘broken’ (B), so C is bound to happen to me.
We bring in former demons and don’t realise that A is not actually the reason B happened.
Let’s try CBA thinking instead:
First, what future outcome (C) do I want to happen?
Second, if C were to happen, what would my current situation (B) have to look like?
Third, what happened last time I felt like B? This is usually a traumatic memory (A), this time however let’s try to reframe it in a way that gives autonomy back to you.
I said something interesting to my therapist the other day. If I feel bad, it means I did something bad. Just one example of how a traumatised brain tries to make sense of situations.
In abuse situations, one can often start to doubt their own memories and feelings. Feeling angry at or sad about your abuser would usually result in punishment if expressed in anyway. Now, those feelings have been associated with shame and self-preservation.
I am trying hard not to isolate myself when I am physically or mentally unwell, but when I do show up I will smile and laugh and downplay the well in my heart.
Because I still believe that I am responsible for the way my feelings make other feels.
Because I still get my sense of self validation from other people liking me.
Because there is still people in my life with whom I don’t feel safe, be it ‘just’ emotionally.
Life is hard enough, let’s try to just be cheerleaders for each other and let the judging to each other.