Alright, these past few weeks have been kind of insane, but I don’t know that I’m ready to talk about it yet. I am going to tell you that I’m going to be in a Fashion Show for the first time tomorrow, one that promotes body positivity, and is a ‘fuck you’ to diet culture, anxiety, depression and I’m so excited to be a part of it. If you’re in Kingston message me for details. So what I’m going to talk about (rant on about) today is the residual effects of trauma and emotional abuse. Sometimes we don’t think much about the littler things that might come up as a result, and they can feel pretty…scary, and confusing. I often felt like there was something really wrong with me because of them, as if they are flaws. These are by no means all of them, just a few that have reeked havoc in my life.
The first one I noticed, and that I feel most insecure about is that I have a hardest time making fucking eye contact. For as long as I remember I never made eye contact, I’d look at someone’s face, but not in their eyes, and if so, it would be a very fleeting glance. I knew it was a thing we were supposed to do, but every time I tried I would feel vulnerable, exposed, and really fucking uncomfortable. I’ve made an effort to change this, though honestly am still not always great with it. From what I read this is a bi-product of verbal/emotional abuse. I always made myself as quiet, and as small as possible, I was afraid to be seen and heard in the wrong way as not to set off more anger. After all the death in my family I also had a hard time letting myself connect to others. I saw it for a while as another possibility to lose something I love. I don’t intentionally avoid it, I honestly didn’t know I did it, until I was asked my best friends eye colour and realized that I didn’t know if I’d ever actually looked. When I’m having a hard time, like recently, I notice myself avoiding it again, I try very hard, but its really uncomfortable for me most of the time. It doesn’t feel natural to me the majority of the time, though there is the occasional person/personality that will help me to feel comfortable enough to do so.
Practicing small amounts of vulnerability, like in Camel Pose pictured, has helped me face the larger moments of vulnerability like making eye contact, this blog, and being in this fashion show tomorrow.
I’ve talked about triggers before, probably will again, but these are another thing that results from trauma and abuse generally. There are tons of things, and I wont go into them all ( we do not have time, and I do not have the energy quite honestly) but the most recent one I figured out is that stupid thumbs up option in Facebook chat. You know what I mean? Like when you’re talking to someone, there’s that button on the side of the…part you write in…thats the thumbs up emoji, but you can change it? (Which I have done with a few people), it royally pisses me off. I’ll be chatting away you know, doesn’t have to be emotional could be ‘I saw such and such movie the other day, and I loved it!’ and then the fucking thumbs up. Holy shit. I always thought of talking online with similar etiquette as in person, would you say/do that to someone’s face? No? Then don’t fucking do it. Though I could tell this anger was not at all in proportion to a stupid emoji. A friend the other day said that its kind of the emoji version of answering with ‘k.’ For some reason it all clicked after that. To me it felt dismissive, like I’m not actually being heard, like the person didn’t listen and really just wants me to shut the fuck up and leave them alone. Like ‘sure sure honey, now go on your merry fucking way’. You know? (I feel the need to say I don’t swear this much in real life…it all comes out on here…not to say I don’t swear, it depends on the company) Anyway, this stupid emoji reminded me of the countless times when I was living at home where I’d be talking and be interrupted, which was very very common. No one would ever ask me to continue, and it didn’t matter what I was talking about. It happened so much that I remember very vividly that sinking feeling in my chest and stomach that happened when I was interrupted. ‘I’m not important enough to have a voice. I’m not important enough to listen to. I’m not enough. Its my fault, I’m not interesting, I’m not fun’. I was also dismissed a lot. Me opening up would be answered with ‘you don’t know how that feels’, or a sarcastic ‘oh poor me, I’m tired’, or a one up of how bad they had it instead. When I was sick I had to vacuum, I just never felt heard, understood, or cared for. This thumbs up, or ‘k’ was triggering that feeling for me, reminding me of the hundreds of times I felt this way before. ‘I’m still not important, i’m still not interesting’ (which is an actual fear of mine, by the way. I fear often that I’m not interesting or fun enough because of how emotionally fucked I am from trauma. I mean, I am healing, and I know I’m very open about it all, but its something that makes me feel like a burden a lot) If this kind of thing happens with someone you love, they have a reaction that feels out of proportion to what you think is needed, do be an ass please? Be compassionate and empathetic, remind them they’re important, that you care, and help them through it. Being a jerk and saying stupid shit like ‘Calm down’ doesn’t help. When have those two words ever actually helped, by the way? Never. Be kind, it costs you nothing.
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The last one I'll talk about is that I never let myself have a voice, I never stood up for myself, I always made myself quiet because I had to be aUIKeyInputDownArrowUIKeyInputDownArrowt home. It took me years, standing up to them, going no contact, therapy, yoga teacher training, and several good friends to see that this was still happening, to see that I do, in fact, deserve a voice. My story is mine, and its valuable and important, regardless. It doesn't matter if people have had it worse or not, it doesn't matter if I've made mistakes, none of that decreases my value.
I think I'll keep it at that for now. I'm having a very hard few weeks, my eating, and sleeping is thrown off, and I'm tired constantly (like...so. Damn. Tired) and just have been feeling extremely low. I started taking vitimin D and B again, and will be taking iron as soon as I buy more. I'm trying to be active everyday, even if its going for a walk, and I'm here writing this, and accomplishing to do lists, so its getting better.
Thank you for your support, for reading and just for being here. As always I thank you for everything you can do, and if you'd like to take that support even further there are a few options: share with friends, consider giving a 3$ donation to help me with the costs of the website, and everything-there's a button 'buy me a coffee' on the right side (or maybe bottom) of your screen or just be kind and open!
Over and out
2 thoughts on “Bi-products of trauma.”
I would like to say – often a thumbs up (and I do do it in real life to) is actually an ‘I AM hearing you’, and I am acknowledging you because I don’t want to ignore you. In my case I use it when I have less energy and typing a full response is too much for me, or when I don’t have the right words but still want to respond, and it’s a good conversation closer too when you have waffled on for ages, had good times, and just need to say bye, having already said bye in words. I understand it can also be a bad thing.
There are definitely some people and contexts where thumbs up makes a lot of sense. Theres just something about it in certain scenarios that seems to trigger me. Its never been a trigger when you’ve used it. 🙂 ♡