What happened?

It’s a novel. Please, don’t feel obligated to read through all of this. It really is just a journal.

While I am doing better mentally than I was a couple of weeks ago [I’m still struggling a lot, but it was so much worse], the feeling of being unsafe is still very present. I am still checking license plates and watching out for suspicious people and making detours, but I feel like I’m not as scared anymore.

I am currently participating in a group circle that addresses childhood trauma. This week’s topic evolved around safety and connection – two mutually exclusive concepts in my understanding. It made me realize that, once people are around, my nervous system is caught up in a state of disconnect and immobilization. I never considered myself as socially anxious - maybe not quite accurate - but the anxiety levels I experience during the group meetings are overwhelming. After these two hours I am completely exhausted. I don’t know how many times I asked myself what I was thinking when I signed up for this. Probably, this is yet another example of avoiding for too long and forgetting about how much anxiety is involved.

My former therapist told me my insecurities around others were just my own projections, but that’s not entirely the truth. There is a component to it that is inaccessible to my conscious mind, and that is my autonomous nervous system. It is beyond my cognitive control to influence what it senses as danger. My body remembers more than I do. In a way, this is very frustrating because, on a cognitive level, I cannot recognize what caused my struggles. I feel like I’m making everything up. Nothing of what I experienced and can recall is what is usually given as examples for traumatic events. This, too, I brought up during session with my former therapist, who said that a pebble stone injures me the same way as a brick injures others. I know there is a gene for sensitivity, however, the therapist also said I wasn’t sensitive, which I discussed during earlier sessions. This messed so much with my mind - and this is why it’s my former therapist.

I never knew what was wrong and I don’t know why. Is it just because it’s always been normal because I didn’t know anything else? Am I just making everything up? I have a rather clear understanding of where my negative self-beliefs are coming from, but there is something very deep that I cannot access and that is causing a lot of my pain and fear. That’s at least the hypothesis. I just feel so incredibly wrong for struggling and watching all these videos on trauma when everything was okay.

Many years ago someone noticed my abnormal behavior and asked “What happened?”. I answered “I don’t know.” and still don’t to this day.

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the mind is a marvel.
the brain can do so much to mess with us.
But then at other times, like with you, it is an oyster. Some speck of trauma seems to have gotten in, and instead of breaking apart as sometimes happens, it coated it in layers, and now the original thing is hidden in a pearl in your mind. As to where your journey leads, I don’t know, but we’ll be here for you!

I am glad you are doing a bit better. I’ve seen the support and comfort you’ve bene sharing with others and I just want to say thank you for that. Your presence here is seen, and deeply appreciated.

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Thank you so much for your kind words, Sita, and for always being supportive. I appreciate you. :hrtlegolove:

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I appreciate you so much and for all the amazing advice and kindness you show to others.
You (your former therapist I should say) can’t compare traumas. There is something real that is causing you such deep anxiety and it’s something to be taken seriously whether or not they think it’s a “big” or “small” trauma.
You can’t tell a child who’s been told their whole life they’ll never compare that their insecurities are their own projection, just like you can’t tell a person who looks at models in magazines that their insecurities are their own projections. While some may say that the other person should just stop looking at those models and comparing themselves, but it doesn’t make the belief they aren’t enough any less real.

I do hope you find some solace from this and that your body begins to allow your mind to peace to heal. Whether it be from remembering something forgotten or being able to allow you to start to find peace.

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Thank you so much, @Bimini, for your reply and your kind words. :hrtlegolove: Theoretically, I know somewhere that it really only matters what happened inside of me and not what happened to me. It’s hard though when you come across invalidation and are not taken seriously along the way. I’ve been working a lot on finding peace and made some progress since. Some day, I’ll might even get there.

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I hope you’re doing okay! Been thinking of you today.
Our experiences may shape who we are, but we truely determine whether it’s going to make us stronger or break us. I see you and your strength.

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Thinking of you @blini. We’re here. Always willing to listen and support you, if you ever need to talk. There are battles that don’t need to be fought alone.

You’re loved. :hrtlegolove:

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