Yesterday I received an exchange that I never thought I would hear.
I was in a marriage/relationship that was intense and full of love and very unhealthy. Our unmet childhood needs came out in full force, resulting in lack of acknowledgment, anger, and started the cycles of abuse. Mental, emotional, physical abuse… …. start the ptsd journey in my body, …..in our relationship.
After years of hope, some change, and little soul dirty work, we got “better.” or maybe we just put it away because, Love was on the rise, mandated counseling, and who wants to actually work through the “old” pain when you’re trying to “heal?” We can just get over it, right?
Then, THE worst thing in our lives happen. Our daughter dies. Grief, grief, grief…. and triggers. The ultimate triggers. Everything triggers. Endless ptsd. and the need for needs rose up out of the ashes to burn alongside the fire for peace from the pain….. layered ptsd.
My grief, and my ptsd were scoffed at. My pain and fear of everything that was happening in my life was taken in, never chewed, yet regurgitated with agitation that I could not “get over it,” or whatever was being hoped of me. (just months after our loss).
My grief and my ptsd, turned to resentment against me. The inability to process that I have to process, losing my daughter and all that occurred during this time, created a divide that was digging my grave. I had to start saying goodbye to the idea that I was allowed to feel the Ptsd running through my body as my blood. and when you instantly cut off a blood supply, the result is mortem. so, I was no longer living. At least not the way I needed to in order to actually live. Survival mode kicked in. And within a year, our relationship was kicked out, along with my need to be acknowledged in my ptsd, triggers, and grief.
Grief. triggers. ptsd. and it has been all on me. And I think that at some point you begin to believe that you don’t have the right to hope that another will see it, and you begin to do it on your own. And you don’t stop. And then you do a bit of healing, for yourself. You become “independent.” And sometimes independence turns into…..
Living in this last several years in a place where this has been a priority to me. To heal and work through the triggers. work through ptsd and grief.
It also since has looked like – been living in a relationship of a world that has been incredibly similar to the relationship patterns of before, if not WORSE, in fact. So much intense love…. and so much intense pain,……. and abuse, and ….. triggers. Ptsd. Grief. Unacknowledged. Goodness I am so diligently and fiercely loyal …. patterns.
Why? Because I wanted closure. Closure to the window that let my needs fly right out. and I thought that maybe this time that by shutting the window and staying with it, being with it when it got wild, would help it settle down. But the window was shut from the outside and all that outside observer cared to peek into was the bouncing around of “chaos” on the inside while I sat inside alone with the fluttering failure.
And once again, kicked to find the Independence. One that I was already establishing, still trying to heal, and trying to share the healing. It was one that said again, that my ptsd, my grief, would remain unacknowledged and simmer on top of the burnt ashes to send the message to the gods, that my, our, ptsd, triggers, griefs and traumas that are not worked through, are for the sake of “love.”
this message that has silenced me for years, and a message that has silenced the messenger’s ability to hear their own internal message and acknowledgment, created a platform to continue the cycles of abuse, to themselves and to their, our, partners.
I began to think that this indeed was a silent and unacknowledged journey. But I started to understand that maybe those that refuse to see the course, may never, and I understand that I still have to do my healing with our without acknowledgement. I hoped to be ok with that.
But then something profound happened yesterday, in the midst of all of this.
An acknowledgment. YEARS later.
Patterns and pains realized and processed, or in process, later. Tears in the eyes, understanding now the effects of ptsd are real later. An, I’m so sorry I did that to you…….. 3-5 years of me living out this nightmare on replay, later.
And I realized a few things in that moment.
One, that I was grateful for this moment I had once longed for. Two, that I was so sad for this pain that courses through this man’s being, knowing how hard it is to carry the burden of ptsd. Three, I also felt very stoic. Like I had no emotional reaction at all.
But I felt so proud of manhood at that moment. It was more relieving to me to know that there is maybe some actual hope. Maybe there is an opportunity for more people to learn how to validate, allow healing as strength.
Because as I see it, no we do not have to heal the other person. No that is not our job at all. We can go on life thinking that the person who is open about their issues has issues, and get mad at them for it, only enabling and maintaining a victim mentality. OR..
We can all take a moment to see that not talking about the wounds, makes resentment. The peace in the in between silence is a peace from a graveyard. A cemetery of hopes and dreams. But those hopes and dreams will remain covered until you can unearth the deaths you have hidden within your own tomb, and bury them with blessings and love.
I received an acknowledgment. Finally.
from someone that I once desperately needed it from. From someone that it took years of pain and realization and a loss of all that was precious to him to see.
PTSD is real. Grief is real. It does NOT go away….on it’s own, it sits “silently” while we “live” on in glory. It invites itself to your table and never leaves. Until, an invitation of nonjudgmental exploration with love and empathy is offered and validated through openness and diligence, the pain will always come back and they will always see it as “chaos” served.
I Love deeply. But I am fiercely independent. My dependency lies within the idea that we all feel the same, or should want to feel level and loved.
And while I did receive an apology, and it was real, it was more empowering than I had expected it to be. I only hope that it empowers women and men to sit with themselves, and meet vulnerability now, not 5 years too late.
Blessed be on your journey to healing, loves. We ALL need acknowledgment and validation. Find love in what love actually means. Begin to heal traumas, together, because we indeed, are not alone in this.