The fear of showing up with our traumas.
And why we should do it anyways.
Some things feel scary to talk about because we stop and think about how it will be perceived.
What we might be labeled as...
What people might say about us...
Or the worst for me personally... how people will try and invalidate your perspective or expression as a lie.
My mother did that to me growing up. I hate saying "mom" because she was never ever a mom, from my birth until I left at 16. Left as in was screamed at and thrown out, followed by her changing the locks and keeping everything of mine down to a change of underwear and my personal ids [birth cert., socials, school registration].
My mother painted me as the girl who cried wolf. She would scream in my face to CRY and KEEP CRYING like the baby that I am.
My mother was aggressive, rough, and cold.
I'm sure my anxiety has always been present since I was a child. I grew up thinking it was part of my character.
My mother did things like say my favorite stuffed animals had mites, so I shouldn't hug or touch them. [ I always wanted to sleep with stuffies].
My mother tried to break down the door or smash furniture when things were out of place. She emptied my drawers of clothing at random "inspection times", to tell me to refold it all because I lived like a pig and was incompetent.
My mother said complaining was weak, crying was baby-like, explaining was talking back, asking questions was obnoxious or rude...
She said touching things was rude.
She said running around was messy.
The backyard was messy.
Ruffling up my t-shirt or wrinkling my clothing was messy.
My loose, natural curls were messy.
Art was messy.
Nothing was okay ever.
My mother was extremely mentally ill, drank hard liquor every night til she was trashed, did cocaine and hid it in her underwear drawer, plus self-destructed on the regular in her second marriage [and still is].
I thought for 28 years that I was a certain way and it turns out my whole personality actually was a trauma response. [ like those Tiktok videos].
Turns out my "regular" day-to-day is run by a traumatized inner child and I also have brain damage.
I learned that complex PTSD is a lot different than PTSD in how it wires you.
I was born into domestic violence, drugs, alcohol abuse, and constant narcissistic parenting between 2 homes. I fled both several times into the night...on school nights... to survive. My mother tried to un-life me twice, herself several times unsuccessfully [thank goodness].
I have no "love" or "miss" or "regrets" towards my mother. She was my captor if I had to describe it.
I've spent years working on feeling SAFE in my own body, skin, mind, soul without her.
My healing looks like learning to be alone and realizing I'm safe even over a decade later. My nightmares still bring me back to my bedroom. That bedroom where I find myself trapped with no windows or a long windy hallway that's never-ending. I have dreams I'm an adult trapped there and can hear my kids or husband..or no one knows who I am and she has trapped me.
I only learned at 29 to 30...I spent the whole year learning... that these conditions I have, caused by abuse, and chronic ----> are things that do not describe me as a person.
Its mental and physical damages... it's like having scars.. scars wouldn't make me less beautiful. But I cannot put a bandaid on them and claim I no longer have scars. I cannot use coverup on them and say "fake it til you make it."
I wake up and look around most days thinking thank goodness I'm here in this bed. I'm here at this age, in this life's moment. I'm not actually there. I'm not actually with either of them and I never have to be again. I've gone no contact quite a few years now but I haven't physically seen them since I was 17 in court suing them for abuse just to be deemed fit to live with guardians and not go back to their home. I won the emancipation and haven't been back since.
It is hard knowing I detached but still carry damages...
But there is another side to healing...
When you learn what is what. When you begin to really understand how the brain + body connection works. When you learn about neurotransmitters and hormones, chemicals, and signals...that misfire and have trouble and are inadequate.
But you learn it's not impossible to regain function.
You learn it's possible to also have support.
I legally cannot tell anyone or prescribe anyone of anything. My fear in sharing this side of my story is how it can backlash at me or be labeled as a lie. But I am letting myself speak because IT IS SCIENCE, not opinion.
It turns out I can make daily choices to help heal slash provide support to my brain and body.
I've been doing so for 2 years now, this year specifically focused on gut health and vitamin deficiencies.
Prior I learned about talk therapy, sound therapy, and cognitive exercises to work on healing.
I'm on my way to getting my life back.
I still have trouble with dreams and anxiety when I wake.
I want to cry and feel helpless first thing every morning.
I used to think I simply was sad as a person...that I was weak...that I was unable to act like an adult...that I was crazy.
Oooy. I have so much love for my past selves...
I'm not broken. I'm not doomed. I'm not weak.
My brain was programmed by abuse...
It has trouble with dopamine and serotonin mostly...
It has trouble and blocks itself even from functioning at an optimal level.
Some of it is psychosomatic because of abuse...some of it is brain chemistry.
But none of it goes without being able to get some support.
IT TURNS OUT THAT THERAPY, NUTRITION, AND SUPPLEMENTS GREATLY SUPPORT THESE ISSUES.
And that's all I can say about solutions. I cannot call them treatments.
But I can tell you that I'm studying herbs, vitamins, and how to provide the body + mind with natural support.
I've realized I want to get trained formally in this and this is my future goal ---> naturopathic and plant medicine knowledge so I can consult and aid in healing people like myself who need it.
Today when I woke up I held it together for about 20 mins until I burst into tears. The racing thoughts, the sadness, the tight jaw, the sore inner cheeks, the itchy eyes, the tight throat, the hunched neck...
I paused and realized what I needed.
I need support.
Every day I do this now...it's like a little game or check-in...
I feel this feeling sweep over me and I pause.
I ask myself...
■ Have you drank 2 glasses of water?
■ Have you taken your vitamins?
■ Have you taken your herbs?
■ Have you drank a shake or ate a little nibble of something that brings warmth and comfort?
■ Have you read your mantras out loud?
■ Have you told yourself you're amazing?
■ Have you hugged yourself in the mirror?
■ Have you taken a few mins to write?
■ Have you stepped out the back door for a little sun?
What are my checkpoints?
I now leap out of bed to do them...
Within an hour I feel like a different person.
Not the person I "think" I am.
Not shaky with anxiety...not weak or in pain [physically I mean] ..not starving or unfocused.. not feeling unsafe.
I feel like me when I give myself those supportive tools...
It turns out I am so funny...spirited...excitable...
I'm so creative..have so many ideas...I'm so clever...
I'm neat and organized in a colorful and functional way... I feng shui... I provide aesthetics and mood to spaces...
I can SEE strategies like worksheets and visuals of different ideas...
I can see words written before I even write them out...like a natural muse with creative words...
I'm pretty freaking awesome.
I just need support.
I am not a prisoner to that room, that past, or that person she tried to paint me as.
There is another side of trauma that we get to be on when we support ourselves...
It's called healing.
And it is beautiful.
Mental health blogger, content creator, and creative writer. I write about trauma, mental health, and holistic wellness to empower other trauma survivors. Follow my blogs @Jadedsaviorblog @Startthrivingnotsurviving linktr.ee/jeangrey888