I’ve been feeling a new kind of disconnect or distance internally between myself and the current events that have been so triggering of late. I’ve been looking at that disconnection to understand it and find out if it’s a good or a bad thing because I don’t want to follow the same old pattern of pushing things down when they get too uncomfortable. This is what I’m thinking after looking inward. Recent events (Roxy and I breaking up, Nick and my wife getting involved, Neighbor Femme breaking up with me) have all triggered massive responses, lingering responses, and some of the responses are to be expected but some are maybe bigger than they should be and lasting longer. For example, the stuff with Nick and my wife. With some help from my therapist, and a lot of looking inside, I realized that I was making a very strong connection internally between this current event and the 8th grade trauma. Feelings of abandonment, of being excluded, of being less than, targeted for meanness… those were flowing between my 8th grade self and my current self whenever I’d think about the two of them. Once I identified that connection, and especially after writing that story, it seems that the connection weakened. So part of my relief lately is being able to think about the two of them together, and to hear her talk about him and plan things with him, and not feel massively triggered and spun into my super angry place. My super angry place is not any fun for anyone, so this is positive progress, but I’m not going to throw a party just yet because I am still not sure if this is real progress or just me up to my same old tricks of avoidance.
In thinking about this disconnection, or the lack of actual connection between a past trauma and my current issues — I’ve been looking from the outside back in. With that information in mind, yesterday I started to look from the inside out, and ask some questions. How much am I projecting my own past trauma onto current situations? If it’s happened once, it’s happened many times. What am I projecting onto my relationship with Roxy that doesn’t belong there? What am I projecting onto my relationships with my wife, my kids, Nick, with other friends, that doesn’t belong there? And so on into work, volunteer activities, PK relationships, etc.
And, in a bout of meta questioning, why am I able to sit here with this distance and examine all of this without getting worked up? Probably due to a bunch of stuff combined like getting more regular sleep, being in therapy (mental/emotional and physical), not being at the beginning of my period week, beginning to take B-Complex vitamins, taking some steps to take care of my physical health (moving toward getting a blood panel and discussing my hormone levels). I’m also off the birth control for now, and I don’t know if that’s a neutral change yet, or something that might contribute to one or the other side of my emotional equation. And there is also a kind of fatigue that comes with always being under stress and ready to explode. I’ve been hearing more voices saying stuff like “Give it a rest, take a break from that, give us some space, it’s not always about you”.
I know that I would not be as calm, grounded and sane as I am (though at various points in time none of those words apply to me) without a slew of friends, both new and established, who are reaching out to me and giving me space to talk through things. And since several of these people are also going through the “end of the world”, I have a chance to reciprocate and that feels pretty good.
And even with all this goodness, I’m still wary and waiting for the next mine to get stepped on. I don’t know that it will happen, but based on the past few months, it probably will. And I don’t know when, and I don’t know which mine field or how big the explosion will be. And I’m still chewing on the inside of my mouth without being conscious of it. I’m questioning myself so much that I’m feeling less secure about who I am internally, even as I get lots of positive affirmations of who I am from other people’s perspectives. In other words, I still feel like a bit of a mess. Someone hand me a broom and the vacuum cleaner.
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