Healing from past relationships and situationships (first person account).
I never know how much trauma I’ve experienced until a situation comes up and I lash out. It’s taking a lot of patience to find the source of the pain and understand why the situation made me lash out. Most of the time, it’s not the current situation that has made me angry, but a trigger from a past situation that causes the response. (I’m no pyschologist, but I do know pain and trauma.)
Most of the trauma I’ve experienced is from past relationships and situationships (situational dating disguised as a relationship – relationship perks with no commitment and all of the headaches). I knew I deserved better than to stay in those situations. I could sense I was being lied to (call it intuition). Sometimes I just ended up getting myself into an unhealthy situation. The guy would show me who he was with his words and actions, but loneliness and depression left me vulnerable and desperate. Reluctantly, I stayed. And I suffered. The only thing I gained once the situations were over was disappointment.
The reason it failed couldn’t have been me. I had high standards and I had so much going for me.
Denial. Depression. Pain.
In my mind, I knew better. I was the friend who would advise others to leave a bad situation. I never followed my own advice. Once a situation ended, I was on autopilot. Occupying my time with an activity. Telling myself I didn’t care that I was alone again. Keeping to myself – most of the time too ashamed to admit that I was hurt. Too ashamed to tell anyone I wasn’t really dating anyone, we were just hanging out. Ashamed of pain and developing feelings. Denial led to depression.
I wasn’t the most popular kid growing up. It wasn’t uncommon for me to be called fat or ugly. When I graduated high school and lost weight, that’s when the attention from guys began. It felt good to be sought after and told I was attractive. I never knew how to look at myself and say “Self… You are beautiful!” I suffered from depression in high school and still have bouts, but it’s manageable.
Having attention from men validated me even if it wasn’t sincere. When I didn’t get attention from men, I felt something was wrong with me and would feel lonely. I would withdraw from people until someone else showed attention. Once I did get someone to like me, I did everything possible to keep them interested. Even jeopardizing my own morals and values. When things ended, the bad attitude would come in with a vengeance to rid myself of any emotions I had developed.
I was in pain.
I liked to myself. I had grown to care for men who had no interest in me as a person, but had interest in my physical appearance. I was angry that everything I had done, everything I sacrificed wasn’t enough. That was the same as me thinking I wasn’t good enough. The pain and anger were never released. I never prayed about any of the situations. It was out of sight, out of mind. Thinking back, that was a terrible philosophy. I always had God, but prayer was the last thing I wanted. I wanted revenge. I wanted to forget what I had done. I wanted to just be.
Recognizing the denial, depression, and pain was not something that happened overnight. Emotional pain manifested itself as physical pain and sickness. That’s what caused the shift in thinking and realizing I needed to change. I needed to release pain. I found comfort in it. The time had come to let it go.
It’s taken about two years to even crack the surface. Reading self-help books, attending workshops, prayer and journaling helped the first year. The first year of healing was a year of desperation. I was tired of feeling sick. I prayed and cried; cried and prayed. I changed my eating habits and became vegan in order to feel better physically.
There was so much more work to be done.
I found a therapist, kept journaling, and kept praying. I began incorporating yoga and meditation. My preferences changed from constantly listening to music to listening to podcasts and other uplifting messages online.
Even though I made strides, there was still pain inside. So I began reading self-help books and writing more frequently. I fasted and prayed. But my saving grace happened to be my significant other. Talking to him, praying with him, and having that support from him has really improved my outlook on life. Being open and honest with someone who has your best interest at heart can help with the healing process.
I do understand everyone may not have a significant other to be that support system, but finding someone you trust and who can give honest feedback (you have to be open to the feedback) is vital. We are not meant to go through life alone – so find a friend, mentor, or confidant.
I’m hopeful for the future and am willing to put the work in to change. I refuse to live in the comfort of pain. It’s crippling and unhealthy.