A fall-apart night

Yesterday was, what should I say… intense? I was tired, I was moody, the heat wasn’t helping. Also what didn’t help was going clothes shopping. Some people might enjoy clothes shopping. I enjoy the end result, but the whole process to me is just awful. Having to browse through the racks, all the people also browsing through the racks, trying to avoid eye contact, waiting for the dressing room, the dressing room itself, having to assess whether an item of clothing looks good on oneself… I was already in a triggered state when we left to go shopping, and the shopping only made it worse. By the time I got home, I was tired and hot and extremely moody.

The party was fine, although when we left I could tell something was wrong with myself/inner world, I just couldn’t figure out what. Anger was pushing up from inside but I couldn’t tell what was prompting it or where it was coming from. Screaming voices inside… Once home, I then got triggered when my partner turned off the fan and I asked her to please turn it back on. She said, “well, why don’t you take your long-sleeve shirt off first. Maybe you wouldn’t feel so warm then.” This triggered off inside the equivalent to world war III. Intense switching, then everything being stuck inside and body is paralyzed, then fuming anger, and then finally falling asleep in the living room on the couch. My parter came out and woke me up, at which point (and this is where things feel foggy and uncertain), I cried and sobbed for what felt like a long time. It was a bizarre experience though, because “I” didn’t feel sad, yet I was watching myself crying and sobbing. I also heard myself say, “My body was never mine,” and “I don’t even know what it’s like to have my own body.” Quite honestly, I’m not exactly sure why I was saying that or what I was referring to, although I imagine something related to the abuse. I know that I was in an extremely dissociated state. Not really sure if it was “me” talking or another part of me.

And then quite suddenly, almost like a genie being sucked back into a bottle, all the sadness and grief (?) got sucked back inside my body, I felt like I was back to myself (rather than watching myself), and I could quite literally feel the physical weight and pressure of the sadness and grief pushing up inside my body. I no longer felt the sadness as sadness (even though I’m inclined to say I never “felt” the sadness at all), I felt it only as an intense anxiety. The sadness and grief that had been pouring out of me with tears and sobs virtually disappeared in the matter of a few seconds, and I was back to being my typical numb and shut down self.

By this time, it must have been well past 2am, although I don’t remember looking at a clock through any of this, and finally we came back to bed and I fell asleep in my partners arms. Upon waking this morning, screaming, angry voices in my head. A typical start to a typical day I suppose.

I just wonder, if I could feel all those feelings of grief and sadness, without feeling the need to shove it all back inside like what happened last night (even though it felt like an unconscious process much more than a conscious process), I’m wondering if I would then heal? That the key to my healing is feeling the pain and sadness and grief from the betrayals of my childhood, both physical and emotional? Do I actually have to “remember the trauma” in order to heal? Or perhaps simply feeling the feelings and releasing them will release their hold on me? I really don’t know. What I do know is that I feel no better as a result of my hours of crying last night. In fact, it didn’t even feel like “me” who was crying, and perhaps it wasn’t. Where does that leave me then…?

I guess I am left with myself. The numb, emotionally shut down self. The functional yet dead-inside self. The fake, the phony, the fraud, the lie. The mask, the pacifier, the pleaser, the chameleon. The empty, hollow shell with nothing inside. That is me. Whoopee.

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1 Comment

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One response to “A fall-apart night

  1. Out of the Ashes

    Do I actually have to “remember the trauma” in order to heal?

    You know, I used to ask this exact question too. Except I extended to to also contain, “Can I mind over matter the trauma/PTSD?” Now that I’ve gotten some really big pieces of my past that correspond to the PTSD and actually are beginning to undo it, I think you HAVE to remember the trauma in order to heal. As you have clearly stated, you had the emotions but no relief. I have spent my entire life feeling the mood swings, the sadness so intense that it threatens to swallow, the sobbing that seems to come on and then disappear for no reason and I am sure that without pursuing the root of it, it will never reconcile for me.

    It took awhile to begin to “unlook” the memories but now that I seemed to have done that, the sorrows and rages and horrors and PTSD is not only making more sense, but also being processed and losing it’s grip on me.

    Thinking of you. Sorry you are struggling so.

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