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The Side Effects of Trauma

by Roxy Wolf 2 months ago in trauma
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CW: Eating Disorders

To start us off - I am not glamorizing eating disorders. This is not a thinspo journal entry. This is a bi-product of trauma - at least for me. I will be talking about other trauma side effects as well at least ones that have impacted me and those who have walked this journey with me.

My problem with food started in Elementary school. Something in my mind believed that if I became overweight that no one would want me. I wouldn't be raped or assaulted. I was wrong.

In Middle school I felt like I was in a fat suit that I couldn't get out of. I started hating my body and it felt like nothing I did could stop them from getting to me. I started drinking, smoking and doing drugs to distract myself from the pain I was feeling. To keep the memories at bay.

In High School I stopped eating or I would eat and force myself to throw up. I did that so much that when I ate I would automatically get sick. I couldn't keep anything down. I continued drinking, smoking and doing drugs. I liked things that kept the hunger at bay. I realized that I might not have control over most things in my life but that was one thing that I could control.

My relationship with food and body image have been rocky for a long time. I am still not in the clear. These past four or so years I have been fighting the voices in my head when it comes to eating. If I don't eat right when I'm hungry, I don't end up eating. My stomach stops growling and I can go days without food. A voice speaks to me in my head and tells me I don't need food or some other nonsense and the longer I go without eating the louder she gets. The stronger she gets.

If you've ever struggled with an eating disorder or are still struggling. I'm here for you. I'm there in that battle with you. I hear those voices too but just know that we are strong enough and we will get through this. I believe in you and I'm so proud of you for how far you've come in your battle.

The second side effect of trauma that I will talk about is not recognizing red flags, seeing red flags that don't exist or being unable to trust your own instincts. There is a lot of self sabotage. Picture this you've been through hell time and time again. You're talking to a new person and they seem great but something they say or do reminds you of your abusive ex or a man that raped you. Now is when you start to question everything. Are you just imagining things? Is this an actual red flag? Are those alarm bells ringing? Are you about to run? Yes we're going to run. Now we've run and we look back realizing that he was actually just trying to get to know you, brush a hair from your face or something else completely innocent.

He didn't know that you had invisible scars and that those words or that one singular action would send you spiraling. How could he know? Why should he have to tip-toe through life? Just because we sleep in a pair of running shoes prepared to flee at the first sign of danger doesn't mean everyone else in the world does.

I overanalyze things people say to me. Trying to decipher or decode if they are being genuine or have a hidden agenda.

Third being PTSD:

I don't go walking alone because I become paranoid at every sound I hear. I listen to footsteps to tell the difference in mood because different steps mean different things. Tones of voice are usually an indicator to mood and meaning. Body language speaks volumes it usually tells me when I need to escape. I don't like being in large groups anymore. For a long time going out to a grocery store would cause me to have an anxiety or panic attack. Certain scents and sounds are triggers. I can't enjoy fireworks anymore. I don't like when someone sneaks up behind me. I don't like when someone touches my back from behind. I can't handle someone putting their hand on the back of my neck if I'm not expecting it. A simple prank of jumping out to surprise me can send me spiraling.

Fourth is developing trauma bonds:

To anyone who has allowed me to attach myself to them - thank you for being what I needed in those times of my life but I also want to apologize to you because it couldn't be easy. I know that it put a strain on some friendships and relationships. Trauma bonds are delicate and forming them to someone who is incapable of being that person for someone can be detrimental to both people.

After being raped and going through that process of the kit and such there was a wonderful woman who was trained and capable of handling it - she was placed in my life for that purpose. To hold that trauma bond with me but at that point I had already bonded to someone else. I had leaned heavily on him and he was my go-to point for everything. Usually, if you follow the normal steps they'd be the first person you come in contact with after the police and you form that bond. I didn't follow the usual protocol.

The trauma of being abused, raped, molested, etc. doesn't end with that action that another did. It doesn't end with the pain. It doesn't end with the after-math. It doesn't just live in the haunted house that I call my brain. It goes further, deeper into a person and can fundamentally change how they function. It can change everything.

It changed me.

Now I am working on changing everything.

I will never be the me that I was before...

But I can't wait to meet the healed me that comes after.


About the author

Roxy Wolf

Hello! My pen-name for this is Roxy Wolf. Not using my real name due to personal reasons. One day that may change. This is part of my journey to healing & learning to use my voice. I hope this helps others know they're not alone.

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