*I wrote this post yesterday; today I am just fine*
I cannot escape grief today. It is sitting on my shoulders and won’t leave me alone.
It keeps whispering in my ear things like:
He left you.
He doesn’t love you.
You are a fuck up.
Your kids are damaged.
This is all your fault.
You aren’t worth it.
I know these thoughts are not true. But my brain is insistent on producing them and I am so utterly exhausted that I don’t have the energy to fight back. I am walking with my arms wide open and my heart wide open, right into the maelstrom. I am letting the current sweep me away because I am too tired to fight against it.
I am not afraid of being swept away by my emotions anymore.
When you have PTSD, you become adept at keeping your emotions in check; it becomes second nature to numb out. Every single feeling is muted – dumbed down. Even happiness feels too scary. Your brain trusts nothing and no one; it is looking for danger everywhere, and for me that danger had always been a fear of feeling my emotions. And never trusting people not to leave and abandon me. I compartmentalized my emotions and my feelings toward the people I love(d) most in this world – my husband and my children, my mother, brother, and my sister. It breaks my heart to know that I unknowingly spent the last 30 plus years living a life of fear, and clinging to the lie that if I felt less, I would be safe.
That is no way to live.
But here’s the thing: I knew what it felt like to love with a reckless abandon that only a little girl who loved her father completely and unconditionally could. And then he dropped dead, right in front of me, and my brain broke.
I NEVER WANTED TO FEEL ANYTHING OR LOVE ANYONE THAT MUCH AGAIN.
EMDR is changing my brain and my life. I am awake, aware, and filled with love and life (and hurt and grief). And though some days are brutal, most days are not. I am learning to trust my emotions, myself, and the people in my life.
I am loved and I am enough.
Typically, when the negative and caustic thoughts pop up, I have been very quick to shut them off. I recognize them as unhealthy and unhelpful. But today, I decided to try something different. I am letting the thoughts come and wash over me; through me. I am releasing myself to the hurt and the grief and embracing a ‘bring-it’ attitude. It feels somehow better than the constant struggle to battle the thoughts away.
To throw up my walls feels exhausting to me now as it is not automatic or second nature any longer.
I am letting them come crumbling down.
Someone once said to me “don’t let it go, but instead let it flow”. Somehow it stuck with me and continues to help me face my fear of emotions. Your writing is powerful and I hope it continues to bring the encourage from within and inspires others. Thanks for sharing.
Amy, you wrote: “Every single feeling is muted – dumbed down. Even happiness feels too scary. Your brain trusts nothing and no one; it is looking for danger everywhere, and for me that danger had always been a fear of feeling my emotions. And never trusting people not to leave and abandon me”. This describes exactly my own abandonment wound and the danger related to feelings and emotions, the numbing out that takes place immediately (I have c-ptsd). Would you mind telling me how EMDR helps you with this? I recently came across a practitioner and I contacted them, but it is not clear to me how EMDR may be helpful, so I haven’t made an appointment yet. Thank you.
I’ll take some time with a reply in a bit.
It’s a lot to try and explain in this forum. Email me at http://email@example.com
We can chat.
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