If you're like me, you might associate 'trauma' with major things, like death, abuse, major accidents like a car crash, potentially life changing things that happen to some of us.
I wonder if this is because I associate trauma with being a victim, and this conjures up feelings of weakness and vunerability for me. I am now able to accept that I have experienced trauma, but this doesn't make me weak or vulnerable to others or situations.
Earlier in 2018 I found out that the person I had been loyal to for the last 9 years hadn't been loyal to me. He had completely disrespected me and my trust with lies and manipulation and it was traumatic for me, and is something I'm still working through. It was probably one of the most emotionally traumatic experiences of my life so far, but I resisted admitting that until recently. I didn't want to be his victim, and I'm not.
I felt like I was living in a movie, that what was happening wasn't happening to me and therefore I felt disconnected from it. I was living on adrenalin with my fight or flight response turned on 100%. I was pushing to get through each day for a while there, and some days I still am if I'm honest. This week would have been our 10 year anniversary, and as much as I'm trying to be ok with what has happened, the emotions are still there, the sense of loss and the sadness and anger about what has happened.
But I've learnt a lot from this experience...
I've learnt that I love the person I am, and wouldn't change anything. Although it will flabbergast some people that I wouldn't take back what happened, I truly wouldn't. I'm not here to live my life with 'what if's', and I learn from every experience. I love hard, I am extremely loyal and I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and although some may see this as the perfect concoction for me to end up in the situation I was, these traits have also created so many positive things in my life, and I am who I am. I don't want to change who I am based on the trauma I experienced because of someone else's choices and actions.
I have so many amazing people around me who lifted me up. I was able to share what I was going through and lean on my beautiful circle of friends and family and this was a blessing. I saw how loved I am through the love poured on me, and this was so humbling and special.
My mental health isn't dictated by what is going on around me, but by how I'm looking after myself and my self care routine. Throughout this time I have been able to continue to flourish because I've looked after myself and taken time when I've needed to stop and 'be'.
I've learnt not to distract myself through doing and being 'busy'. Being busy doesn't make things go away, and they will continue to rise up until I deal with them, so I allow myself to feel whatever I'm feeling and not place judgement on it. Of course this is hard when I'm feeling alone, sad, hurt, angry etc, but I do my best to allow myself to just feel it out and let it rise and fall away.
I've also learnt that when shit gets tough, I am tough and can dig deep when I need to, especially with the support of my tribe x