I am learning to cognitively re-master my trauma responses, and that triggers others.
I am actively working on the regulation of my whole body while I am triggered or in a heightened response state, and that triggers others.
I’m working with my sensitivities, and learning how to create safety where I used to feel unsafe, both physically, emotionally and in relationships, that triggers others.
I’m learning to integrate Calm where there used to be chaos, and feelings where there used to just be numbness, this triggers others.
Anyone who has healed from anything knows that it gets worse before it gets better.
It’s true for all grief.
It’s true for a breakup, or divorce.
It’s true for healing after most surgery.
It’s true for healing emotional wounds.
It’s true for navigating change.
It’s been true for the global shitstorm we have all tirelessly endured.
It rings true for all grief.
It’s going to get worse before it gets better.
I want to highlight this again, because it is so hard to navigate all of this.
While you are healing and as you learn and change people who haven’t figured it out yet will judge you, even openly criticize you for doing your own damn work.
You keep doing what you need to do to heal.
Hurt people hurt people. Remember that when someone throws shade, or outright intentionally triggers you.
Hurt people hurt people.
Awareness is the key to making it through, but it also makes us aware of how shitty and discriminatory people actually act.
Or,sometimes they isolate you because they aren’t sure what to do, so they do nothing.
Discrimination is when someone changes the way that they behave based on who they are interacting with. The same thing happens when people are being stigmatized, people have a separate set of rules for you, usually when something you experience is triggering for them.
Discrimination and the mental health stigma have walked hand in hand in my journey to healing.
I was surprised when they both walked through some of my closest relationships though…
That truly caught me off guard.
It all happens in various stages depending on how much intimate personal information someone, or a system has, and it happens more from people, or systems who aren’t present in your day-to-day life. People who don’t only see pieces, or see just what they want to see and fill in their own blanks with their own judgement and opinions. I noticed that it was never anyone close enough to have the whole story that pass judgement.
If there is also generational healing at play that makes healing more complex because the family unit is in the midst of learning, and all at various stages, awareness levels and with differing stamina’s for this type of work.
I didn’t imagine that someone going from what was seen as extra high functioning mom, rig wife with a great career- to experiencing a medical trauma that flipped a coin sending me spiralling into cptsd (very openly) would have given people everything they needed to decide that I was not welcome, but it did.
It was probably really challenging to witness that coin flip from the outside as I rapidly sunk into illness, chaos and utter shock and confusion, alone feeling like I’d lost everything because in that version of my reality I had. I had lost my career, and some key relationships crumbled, then my marriage began to teeter on the edge of failure with the decline of my mental health.
I was a mess, on all levels.
Imagine what it was like to experience it all, abandoned and alone.
Being called too much, or told that the inward focus that I had taken on was selfish.
Nothing that I scraped together to accomplish was ever seen as a win. When I accomplished something huge for me it was always clouded with judgement. All because of the huge juxtaposition of me being capable of doing so much MORE when I was well.
No one ever really slowed to consider that impact on me.
Going from high functioning to bed ridden so quickly scared the shit right out of me. I was terrified that I was dying. I was living in that fear and it was making me sicker than I already was.
When I finally found the trauma link, I finally found my answers, and with the right answers I was able to ask the next level and layer of questions.
Childhood trauma healing was the answer to many of my debilitating symptoms.
I found the limiting beliefs I had stood by and honoured and looked really closely at them and where they came from. Then I chose. What to keep, and what to grow from.
I had lots of growing to do, and more to come.
The truth is that I was never allowed to authentically exist without judgment, stigmatization or even discrimination. So I had to practice authentically existing, feeling feelings that I was taught to repress, surpress or otherwise disengage from. I have been healing from this, slowly, and painstakingly.
From early in life I was conditioned to believe that my worth and value were tied to my capacity to serve others; regardless of the cost to me. I was to show up within a certain standard, or not bother showing up at all.
That is what I had replicated in my relationships, and I needed that to stop so that I could break the cycle within me.
So when I found myself in bed I made the choice not once, not twice but 1,000,000 times that I was going to show up authentically to save my life. Over and over I had to actively choose authenticity.
I’ll show up authentically, and love myself through this.
That’s what I decided after I gathered some more courage after growing pains knocked me down. Over and over. Growth, pain, lesson, integration, knowledge.
Growth, pain, lesson, integration, knowledge, grateful repeat.
The juxtaposition between healing and healthy for me somehow gave people a right to dismiss me. That pissed me off.
The thing about me is that I’ve got an attitude problem, and the sharpness of my tone can be a bit poignant.
Authenticity somehow provides ammunition for all of the guilt trips, the shoulds, the personal monologues and soap box speeches about “what’s best” or their colourful yet fear based presentations about “worry” aka judgement about the DECISIONS that I have for myself; that are helping me heal!
The decisions that I make for my health, my lifestyle, and my emotional well-being are my own to make. My body is my body and I get to choose how to heal it.
If my chosen approaches don’t make sense to you, that’s fine, it’s not your body so don’t concern yourself that deeply. You see, you don’t have authority over me.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again stop doing this to people who have the courage to attempt healing every single day. We need your support, not your judgment, and certainly not your advice, abusive concern or judgemental worry.
When people have done this to me I have felt judged, shamed and even like I have to defend my right to sovereignty for myself. I have the right to make informed decisions about my health; regardless of anyone’s opinion.
Stop guilting people.
Stop shaming people.
Stop isolating them with your fucked up versions of love!
Stop standing on your ignorance and trampling on my freedom to choose for my body.
Just STOP, please.
My healing and the ways it transpired for me triggered people. I am learning that the jealousy and envy can make even seemingly supportive people treat you like crap. These interactions often include unsolicited advice, judgement and misdirected shame because someone else is triggered.
Me choosing to dance this dance without prescription medications triggered people to learn the steps to their own dance.
My choice to blog about my whirlwind of a journey triggered people to muster the courage to journey along their own paths.
Me retracting the over-extensions of myself triggered people who benefitted from my over giving to view the importance of my relationship to them in a new light.
Me deciding that I can’t always be the only giver in relationships triggered people, and broke most of those relationships.
Me speaking my needs and setting healthier boundaries in relationships triggered people to begin doing the same.
Me asking people to ALSO be held accountable for their OWN behaviour triggers people because accountability feels like an attack to those who don’t ever practice it. Keep practicing, I promise there are humans who have space for the authentic you.
Me acknowledging ways abusive behaviour is present in relationships triggers people because no one wants to be held accountable for their own damn actions these days.
My symptoms trigger people. In good ways and in bad.
My presence triggers people. I am getting comfortable with not being able to please everyone.
Watching me battle with pain and chronic illness triggers people. It’s a helpless feeling to not be able to “fix me”.
There is nothing that I can do to not trigger people sometimes.
So I carry forward anyway.
I do my dance with as much courage and vulnerability as I can muster. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one second at a time if needed. Knowing that I will face judgement. Knowing that I have many complex ptsd moments ahead of me in my life, and that I have the grace to not let my illness rob me of my life. I will not allow the ignorance or neglect of other people to debilitate me ever again because my healing triggers others to heal.
My healing is proof that healing exists; and my healing journey triggers others to desire healing for themselves.
To desire chronic wellness.
This chapter of healing has been about neutralizing triggers; and responding in new ways. I am proud of this work. For my mental health this has been integration practice. Hours and hours of cognitive behavioural practice with complex ptsd symptoms as guidelines for window of tolerance. This is intricate work, it absorbs energy and motivation to move forward. It is tireless, seemingly unrewarding work.
Until… finally it all compounds in the right balance. Don’t give up. Keep loving yourself first. ❤️
Wellness for me means keeping my over active central nervous system regulated for long periods of time.
This was a mountain of a task from my bed… but now; I am fully equipped for any pain cycle, any anxiety attack, any hormone plummet, anything… I’m ready.
I am navigating the secondary layers of trauma and integration the lessons as I move through them with the tools I have now.
Yes, healing triggers others.
I’ve said it all along, my intention with what I share, what I teach and what I write is to be someone else’s survival guide. I couldn’t find the combination that I needed. I hope to be that for someone else.
Love yourself first, and then trigger others to love themselves first too.