have been struggling in so many ways. I used to be one who shared every struggle and every success on social media. It was my therapy. It made me feel less alone and was one of the biggest weapons I had to fight my demons. Something about exposing my darkness made it less scary.
But the last few years I’ve struggled, mostly in silence. I’ve shared moments of both struggle and victory, but each have been muted… Filtered… Because I couldn’t bear to face them all at once or in their fullness. Because I felt obligated to “look on the bright side” and “find the silver lining” and some days… Most days… I couldn’t.
Recently I have been grappling with a flood of triggers from past trauma that have been drowning me lately and it creates this cyclone of confusion and frustration. I start to get to a “good” place. I practice gratitude and in many ways I’m happier than I’ve ever been, but as I begin to catch my breath with this inhale of gratitude and begin to relax there always seems to be a dark, cold hand of fear reaching out to cover my nose and mouth. And suddenly I’m not safe anymore. I begin to wonder if I ever was. I’ve felt this suffocation before, much like the frog who doesn’t recognize the simmering water heating up until it’s too late, I didn’t realize I was suffocating until it was too late. I had nothing left to fight with, so I surrendered. But now, oh now… I remember. And so I panic at the smallest things. The loss of any freedom or autonomy sends me into a spiral. I dissociate. I isolate. I assume the worst because that’s been my truth for so long. Sometimes I can catch my breath. But I’m excellent at putting on a show, at being ok. It’s all I’ve ever thought I was allowed to be.
I spend more time than I’d care to admit crying in my car over everything and nothing. I start to feel stuck and that makes me angry. Anger is scary to me because I refused to feel it for so long. I’m angry that I trusted the justice system and it failed me. I’m angry that I felt like I had to choose between the life of Independence I fought to rebuild and my daughter. I chose her, of course. I’ll always choose her. I’m angry that I had to leave a job I loved. I’m angry that nearly three years later, I’m still picking up pieces of a life that was shattered.
And yes, I’m grateful for the lessons learned and freedoms gained and and and…
But I’m still angry. And that’s ok. For the first time I’m letting myself be angry and just sit with it. I can feel just about any feeling and be comfortable with it… But anger has been hard for me. Because being angry, for me, often means acknowledging someone has done something unjust towards me or someone I care about. Which means acknowledging the flaws in those you trusted, those you spent time and effort investing in… Those I chose to see the good in when everyone else saw the not so good. And that is a major challenge to my worldview and personality. It’s a blessing and a curse to always look for the best in even the worst people… I’m working on finding balance in that and today’s step is admitting I’m fucking angry.