When You Put Your Trauma On Display
Updated: Jan 31, 2019
I shared an instagram/facebook post the other day about these "IDGAF" earrings and how I made them in response to feeling not good enough and how I felt like I was hard wired to feel not good enough. A couple of my friends responded to that post with legitimate concern and reassurances that I WAS good enough. Their concern concerned me and it was this big circle where they wanted to make sure that I was ok and I was trying to convince them that I was ok and then I wanted them to be ok with me being ok but also sometimes not feeling ok and there was ... just some...confusion.
Here's the thing: In general, I feel like I'm ok. I feel happy and healthy and I think that I generally make good choices. BUT...sometimes I don't feel so great and when my mind decides to play enemy to my overall well being, I want to talk about it. And there are two reasons that I do want to talk about it and one reason that I don't. First - I don't want to talk about my trauma or drama or issues or pain so that people will feel sorry for me and rush to my side to offer comfort and aide. I appreciate the efforts, for sure, but that's not what I hope to get out of posting. I post these things for two reasons - it's therapeutic for me to be really open about these things, and also, other people have let me know that it's helpful to them. That's it. I posted that I'm hardwired to feel like garbage for the simple fact that I do feel that way sometimes. Not that I can't change it. Not that I don't feel like I'm winning the battle against changing it. Not that I just walk around feeling like garbage all of the time, every single day of my life, and oh well, that's life. It's just, sometimes, without me even realizing it, I respond to perfectly normal situations as though I am a giant piece of shit. It happens without me even realizing it and the healthiest thing for me to do is acknowledge it, like, "oh! This situation that you are so stressed out about is a bit of an illusion. Your brain has whispered to you that you are a giant pile of steaming garbage and you're responding to that rather than what's really going on. Let's explore this a bit."
And so I explore it a bit.
I have the BEST example of this. I'm in California. My friend has graciously let me stay with her for a very extended workcation type of thing. I spent my first two weeks asking if I could help her. If I could do things. What can I do? How can I help? I asked her if I could help so much that I was annoying myself. I was timid and afraid and weird and I didn't know how to just be here. Just enjoy the generosity and hospitality of my friend and enjoy the fact that I get to spend three months with someone who I absolutely adore and don't get to see that much. And it came to a bit of a head and we talked it out and she let me know what's up and I cried and then everything ...normalized. And what I figured out about myself is that I don't really know how to be in other people's spaces or accept their hospitality without feeling like I need to earn it every single second. I feel like I'm not really welcome, that I'm a burden, that I'm intruding and that I basically need to work off my time in their space. I've actually avoided going to people's homes for years and always just said, "I don't really feel comfortable in other people's houses," without really knowing why. I knew it was true, I'm NOT comfortable in other people's homes - I just didn't know why.
And now I know why. It is fucking EXHAUSTING trying to earn the right to other people's kindness. Especially because people are never going to tell you that you've done it! You've finally earned it! You can sit on the couch! Because literally no one is asking me to earn it. It's just me, spinning in circles, trying to be good enough and worthy enough for people who never asked me to be, because I already am.
I can trace the history of my life and tell you exactly what this stems from, but that's not really the important part. The important part is that this is a thing that I was doing to myself. That I have been doing to myself, for YEARS. And I didn't even realize it. And that's what I mean by "hard wired." I can definitely rewire all of this, but it's going to take some work and I"m not an electrician, so I'm definitely going to fuck it all up in the process. But I believe, in the end, that as long as I'm willing to tackle these projects and all of the mistakes that will happen along the way, that I"ll be a happier and healthier person in the end.
Hard wired isn't permanent. It's just a bigger project.