I’m all for easy healing techniques. When I’m triggered to shit I want a magic wand to clear it all away. I want someone to take it all away from me, to understand what I’m going through, to actually validate that I should be angry, scared, disassociated, disgusted, sad, etc.
So, why make something harder than it has to be? why suffer any longer than you have to?… Well, this is the mindset of the medical community. Even my naturopath, whom I love, has very little wisdom for me when I am over the top triggered. It came out of the blue this week – for 2 days so many circumstances I found myself in and around, smacked of sexual abuse or self harm (cutting, anorexia) with the teens I work with, or Dr. Phil interviewing a cult defector who told of being tortured and raped her entire childhood, or nightmares of my maternal influence… sexually abusing me. And now I find myself at my yearly gyno exam… WTF
Can you say overwhelming anxiety? Can you say vibrating from within? breathless, BP 120/100, face flushing, hypervigilant… when I’m normally relaxed, centered and grounded throughout most of my day. I provide meditations to my co-workers at work and the teens I work with. This is not me, a bag of nerves. At least this is not me TODAY. Years ago, well, fuck-yeah! I was stuck in this terrorized state of functioning and it felt kinda normal. When you make tremendous strides out of the perpetual triggered state, after years and years of self growth and unearthing who you really are, when you are re-triggered to this extent, only then do you realize how far you’ve come. When the anxiety returns, you’re like, “Hey, here’s that feeling again, gosh, this is horrible. I can’t believe I lived like this everyday.”
Again, I’ve had a hell of a triggered week and my gyno just lit a candle for me and ordered me to sit and relax because I’m not leaving until she’s satisfied with my condition. Because I am in such a vulnerable state I don’t freak out on her. She’s basically bypassed my feelings about what would be best for ME. Now I’m basically trapped, just like my childhood. She really expects my BP to come down now that she’s decided to control the shit out of the circumstances? I think not. Now I begin to feel bad and wrong because I CAN’T make my body act normal. What am I supposed to do? will my CNS to relax and be a good girl? Calm down when my empathic self is reading her panic about my condition and that she doesn’t have a clue about what to do with me? All very unsettling for ME. (in addition to asking me how many years post-menapausal I am WTF???????????????? I still have a regular cycle you F&$%@ (of course I did not say that, I’m not THAT tweaked) but I might or might not have imagined my hands around her throat LOL.
If she listened to me for one minute regarding the state of mind I arrived in (plus, then add in a pelvic exam, OMG) she would not try to override what was happening in my body. HELLO!!!! There is nothing that can be done. SHE TELLS ME I NEED TO MEDITATE ( I have been meditating for 9 years) SHE SUGGESTS THAT I JUST RELAX AND HAVE LESS STRESS IN MY LIFE (is this woman for real? I have crafted a lovely life for myself), SHE TELLS ME I NEED A THERAPIST (I almost stood up in the stir-ups). clueless. fucking clueless. BTW I have the most amazeballs therapist ever.
If you read nothing else here – read this >
****Despite the inadequacies and incompetence of the medical community….This is not today’s stress people! ***********This is old, very old***********. This is not a mismanagement of my life, my health. This is straight up abuse terror. Memories surfacing in crazy-ass nightmares. There is no way in hell I will feel bad/wrong about a normal process going on inside my being!!! Trauma, my dear wordpress friends, has no concept of time, trauma decides when trauma will speak again, trauma decides when your body will purge old memories/patterns. And it’s usually at a ridiculously calm, peaceful time in your life. Usually when you are feeling amazingly relaxed, confident, loved, cherished, visible, strong, bla, bla, bla. Seems senseless, right?*****
Trauma waits until it has your complete attention. Not when you are juggling life’s stress but just the opposite. Your spirit or higher-self is good like that. Never giving us more than we can handle. Rut-Ro. I can handle a lot. Which scares me.
I am really careful who I allow to care for me. My physician’s, dentist, gynecologist, eye doctor, etc.. I need to feel very comfortable with whomever is treating my body. I tell ya, it is very hard to come by professionals who understand ptsd and healing from trauma. Especially sexual trauma. Especially. The suggestions they make are downright silly, uneducated and at times, inappropriate.
Get some training on how to meet patients (with abuse history) with compassion, validation and heart. I will say that it is prob not a good idea to rapid fire – suggestions to make it all better – at the patient. Take note: triggered people are not listening to you anyway. Forget your textbook ideas. It will all be received as, “I’m not doing something right” (something that the vast # of traumatized people learned as children). Which just fuels the trigger. My “well-meaning” Dr’s usually suggest shit I have already been doing for 10 years like, meditate, get a therapist, eat well, get exercise and for fuck’s sake, relax LOL. They can’t get past the FACT that they can have very little effect/control over what is happening inside of you/me. And this really flips them out. They are in the helping field, right? they should be able to fix everything and make you feel better, right? Nope. Impossible. I imagine, a very helpless feeling, absolutely – now you understand how I’m feeling.
Most patients are – and correct me if I’m wrong, just looking for silence and presence. This is all we need. That is all. That’s it. Not suggestions, not pity, not more drugs – so you can sleep at night thinking you solved something for a patient. When you don’t know what to tell a patient how bout this just sit back with your well wishes and instead of hurling a list of “how to relax” at him/her… feel the discomfort you’re trying to run away from. Maybe Helplessness? defeat? fear? sadness? I know, I know, Doc’s are supposed to know everything. HOw it would have helped if one of them would have been silent or have said “wow, you’re having a hard time” or “it will get better, it always does”.
What I know for sure is that triggers are gunna happen. Your body will freak out from time to time. Trust. Weird rashes, numbness, burning, swelling, pain, shingles, viruses, bladder infections, intestinal issues, headaches, sinus infections, reflux, eye problems, elevated blood pressure, breast issues, etc. as the darkness is released through your organs and tissues. This is not betrayal. Betrayal already happened, many moons ago. This is your body communicating with you about what needs attention. Your body is your friend, partner. It was there for you then and is here for you now. Cherish and love your body, it’s the only one you’ve ever had and ever will have. It’s fighting on your behalf, won’t you do the same?
As I write about my experiences this week, my trials with health care practitioners, my heart aches for those of you who are re-victimized by well-meaning health care practicioners. Unless you have been abused – and so many of us have – AND you are actively working on healing (for the rest of your life) you really have no clue with regards to what this population needs. Please, if you don’t know what to say, that’s a sign that you shouldn’t say anything.
When you really, really, really understand the healing process you know that there is no end to healing, you know that there are so many people who are going to re-open those wounds for you, you know that healing means moving forward while you are looking back, you know that healing is for you and only you, you know that very few (to no) people will deeply understand what you are going through, you know that eventually it will not matter if no-one understands because you do, you know that it’s difficult to find professionals who really understand what you are going through, you know that the highs are going to be just as plentiful as the lows, you know that despite what society says, you cannot and should not try to control your thoughts, you know that the only true way to process trauma is to be with it – not run from it, you know that living in the truth is all that matters to you AND that you know all of what you experience is happening FOR you not TO you.