Updated: Oct 13
"The Willow Tree" Acrylic Painting by Srimati
Before I healed my trauma, I wasn't a great friend, sister, daughter, mother, wife. I was scattered and chaotic. I was lost within my own experience, struggling to keep my head above the water. Even though I was actively seeking to heal myself, I was in a community of trauma deniers. I was also trauma bonded to my birth family, where there was total silence and denial around the abuse that occurred in my home, despite it having terrible consequences to the kids and my mother. I couldn't understand why everytime I interacted with them, I felt so terrible. Even though I was constantly doing the work to show up better, more present, more stable, doing all of the work in the relationship to carry the emotional weight of others (codependency), when I left their presence it would take me weeks to recover my mental health from these interactions. I was drowning in these relationships. The real me never felt safe to exist so I put on a mask and pretended to be something I wasn't.
What I didn't realize was that my fractured self was being retraumatized every time I interacted with my birth family. I was being asked to martyr myself to be in relationship with them.
Once I got out of community with people who didn't truly care about me (because they didn't know how to), my fractured parts, or my trauma and didn't want to hear about it, once I separated from my birth family, once I found a community that did care and had the tools and the healing pathway that could actually help me, everything changed. I found myself coming to life for the first time. I was able to process and heal years and years and years of repressed feelings as awarenesses arose in my body and mind. I cleaned myself out from deep within and I accepted myself and my history.
I've realized since that it is a shallow existence to be surrounded by people who only want to see you with a mask on, while your true self slowly dies inside. Now I will not be in relationship with people who want to bury me beneath their LOA philosophy on life, who won't see the real me and accept that who I am today is a woman who has walked incredible trials and made it through. I want to be around people who appreciate my history and who don't see my story as an inconvenient and unfortunate part of me that I need to forget or rewrite.
I want to be around people who do not abandon themselves or others and who don't attempt to cage me in their paradigms that abuse should be forgiven without accountability and making ammends, that their are "no victims", and that trauma isn't real and you just need to rewrite your story.
I've realized the importance in surrounding myself with people who actually care about me as a whole person and can see the value in the life I've lived, that my history is not just a blunder I need to forget, but are my roots and what birthed the person I am today. And if I tried to cut that part off of me it would be akin to cutting my body in half.
The woman you see before you is the trial by fire.