This cartoon doesn’t exactly fit, but I thought it was funny!
These last several weeks, although punctuated with intense body memories (that thank the lord in heaven seem to have subsided), have seen me the most stable than I have been in a whole year. I have been pondering the causes of this newfound stability, and I’ve come to some realizations.
Main cause of perpetual crises: triggering relationships
Last Spring, I entered into an extremely unhealthy therapeutic relationship (see prior post). Not only was the relationship with this therapist both co-dependent and unhealthy, it was extremely triggering. And since I had almost daily contact with her, I was being triggered by her on an almost daily basis. It got to the point where, since she was constantly “in my head,” I was being triggered by her even when I wasn’t in contact with her. I knew that my life was spiraling out of control, and that I was in a state of constant crisis (to see the type of crises I was in daily, one can simply go back and read my earlier blog posts. In case you are actually considering doing this, just to warn you: it’s not butterflies and unicorns). I just didn’t know why, nor did I think to even consider my therapy as the cause of my crises.
After my therapist (quite fortunately) ended our therapy together, I jumped into a friendship that had very similar dynamics for me. Different type of relationship (after all, this friend was not a therapist!), but the unhealthiness was very much present. The co-dependency was very much present. The being constantly triggered was very much present. Rather than being able to build a solid foundation of strength and resiliency under my feet after ties were severed with this therapist, and heal from that traumatic experience, this relationship kept me in a traumatized state. This is not my way of heaping loads of blame onto this person. If anything, I was just as much to blame as she was. Neither of us realized the dynamic, and when we did, things turned quite ugly, and ultimately, I had to sever ties.
Looking back on this past year, and really analyzing these experiences, has led me to realize that my emotional state doesn’t exist in a bubble. What I mean by that is, if I am constantly finding myself in a state of crisis, there must be a reason for it. I think that being raised in the family I was, I got well accustomed to living in a constant state of inner crisis and turmoil. It felt familiar. It felt “normal.” Therefore when I find myself in crisis mode, I don’t blink an eye or even think to question what may be causing it.
The lessons that I can draw from this past year are these:
~ My emotional world is very much tied to my outer world. If something is askew* on the inside, most likely there’s something askew on the outside.
~ My emotions don’t exist in a bubble, and in fact they hold important information. I shouldn’t disregard my feelings, because then I would be disregarding whatever it is my mind/body is trying to tell me.
~ I need to learn to listen to myself and trust my intuition. I am so good at ignoring when things don’t feel right, or when something is “off”, that I will stay in very unhealthy situations that are ultimately detrimental to my well-being.
~I need to learn to judge myself less, and accept myself more. And trust that when I make a decision that feels right, even though it may be painful (and may even hurt or disappoint other people), that I truly know myself best and what is the most beneficial thing for me in any given situation.
* askew– I just love that word, don’t you?