Recently I was confounded by what I clearly recognized as signs of deep depression. What? Me? I’m the happiest person I know! It was more like being an observer of the physical manifestations of a feeling of dread. It was in the middle of my body at the core radiating outward. And it was really strong. That is the best way for me to describe in words, that awful sick feeling. Feelings like this had not surfaced since way before my divorce. Why were they coming back now?
My abusive relationship lasted just over 18 years. There was a pattern during that relationship I had already learned about. A pattern I could recognize and would never have to get suckered into again. After all I’m nine years into a happy single life. Surely I was not in another relationship like this? No I was not, but there was something of value in this body awareness I could not ignore. I wanted to investigate further.
The pattern is: abuse, silence, and several days later a gift given or a favor done to make up for it. Smoothing things over as if nothing ever happened. In this pattern you end up feeling negated in every way, feeling unimportant, and invisible. You feel punished, worthless, and you never seem to know why. Ugh, I hate that.
The pattern was tugging at my inner psyche and my very core. My body was trying to get my attention as if to say, “Hey remember this stuff? This was not good for you, and I’m making sure you notice, and recognize what’s going on. That way I can protect you.” Yup, that voice.
A good friend made the smallest infraction, and hurt my feelings. After this incident, he silently did a favor for me to make up for his small transgression. The relationship was important enough for him to make amends. I appreciated it very much and told him so, because the relationship was important to me as well.
The pattern itself triggered my dread, not the incident. That’s Important Thing number one to note. My body saw this pattern that looked a lot like the old abuse and went into hiding mode. That’s Important Thing number two to note. When I realized this feeling of dread was my body recognizing this old pattern and was only protecting me, the dam burst wide open. In a good way. Now things were making sense and I experienced a huge sense of relief. My body had been on high alert. At this point in my life I can easily say my body was over reacting.
In retrospect I realize this pattern had not really surfaced since before the divorce, and my body was in total denial about being in that same nightmarish life. It was back peddling so fast as if to say ‘Oh no you don’t!’ I have to thank my body for knowing to tip me off to the old pattern.
The body will hold onto trauma way longer than the mind will. Out of a sheer sense of survival. It’s doing it’s job.
In my mind, my friend’s infraction was small. But my body recognized the pattern BIG TIME and it was trying to protect me. It was getting me to hunker down in order to survive. My body was really sending me a huge signal that it felt something was wrong. Now that I’ve had this experience, I realize my body is still on guard. I can recognize this feeling, look to the pattern first, analyze the situation, have compassion for where I’m at, and tell my body all is well.
After this realization I can say with honesty when I look around, I see the beautiful and fruitful, totally happy life I have built for myself. I am living the dream! ❤ At the same time I realize some side effects of abuse take longer to dump than others. Some never go away totally. Trust your body if it is giving you signals, but be shrewd about why you are getting signals to see the origins. If necessary set your sails for a new direction. Thank your body for the message. Take notes and move forward.
The reason I write and share blog entries like this is in the hopes that other people might find some relief at knowing they are not alone in how they experience the world, how they handle trauma from old wounds, and how they pick up the pieces and move on. 🙂
Live long and prosper!