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.