I will be referencing the experience I shared about in a past post so if you would like to read that one first go to the link at the bottom of the post
Anyway…onto the post
I’m still bothered by what happened to me all those years ago. I feel like I shouldn’t be. I feel like I should be over it by now. The fact that it still bothers me makes me feel guilty and like it was somehow my fault. I still have nightmares from that experience. I had one just last night. It feels like it’s haunting me. I feel like I’m not supposed to be fearing a future experience with the person who did that to me. He’s no longer in my life, but I still am afraid of him and what he could possibly do. I can’t hear my mother talk about him without remembering what happened and it sends me into a small panic. I’m trying to get over it, but it’s a lot harder than I thought. Is it normal to not be able to forget this kind of thing? Is it normal to still have a fear from it even though it was so long ago?
Hey @FaeTheProud, I just want to share that what you’re experiencing is completely normal. Trauma affects people in a myriad of ways and can randomly pop up years later. I really resonated with your post because I’m in a similar spot, albeit different experience. Having fought in Afghanistan and being wounded there, the last two weeks have been really hard. I thought for sure I was over it and had done counseling and moved on. But when the fall of Kabul happened, I fell to pieces. I couldn’t even describe it, and here I was at home and the last time I fought there was in 2003. But it messed me up pretty good and I had feelings of relief, rage, sadness, betrayal, and just about any conflicting emotion in between. I would stay up late at night fretting about the future of Afghanistan and friends over there. My wife would sometimes just find my crying on the couch early in the morning. BUT… I was certain I had moved on. In reality, it tore open old wounds and I’ve had to face those once more and put in the work of surrounding myself with community and facing the past.
So that’s my encouragement to you:
You’re not alone or crazy for feeling the way you do. It’s totally normal.
Put in the effort to keep healing when the past pops up. Explore those old wounds and how you can grow stronger from them.
You can talk to your mom about how these moments inpacted your life. By just telling how you feel and felt at the time, keeping the focus on what it did to you. Without blaming her or accuse her of anything. You can do nothing wrong with telling how you feel. And this way you avoid getting in a discussion or fight.
For the bothering moments I would suggest to try and ground yourself, reminding yourself that you are not in that moment and you are safe now. Try some techniques like going for a walk or go to different room,interact with People you like or find yourself some diatraction in general. Focus on breathing, do some maths or count stuff you see. Im sure something will work for you as long as you try. (going outside and talking a walk preferably to nature helps for me personally).