In my therapy and healing, there have been plenty of “oh, fuck” moments, moments of enlightenment and insight. But it’s a bittersweet awakening, hence, the “oh, fuck” part. Today I was blessed with a gentle reminder from an incredibly intuitive and loving friend.
I had been detailing some of my latest struggles, how I sense rejection in so many things, and then want to act up or flee the scene. My friend reminded me that my father was so abusive my mother had to move us two states away. When I read this, I immediately started crying and followed that stream of grief down to its ugly pool, the pool of the ugly things that really did happen.
She reminded me about re-enactment, that mother fucker of a trauma remnant. It is for me, where relationships meet my past traumas. Trauma says to Relationship, “heyyyy! What up???? Wanna help me set myself up to be rejected so I can replay this childhood wound?” Relationship says back, “Sure! I’d be glad to fall right into your rejection scenario…it’s impossible not to, since in the past you’ve chosen rejecting men like your dad or you haven’t given the good men a chance, and we ALL know you are super fucking hypersensitive to rejection.”
Oh, fuck. That again. More layers of pain to uncover.
Well, Lord, it’s no wonder. I’m just trying to heal from that cycle…running from the rejector, the sincerely dangerous man. In a trauma situation, there is a freezing response. As a child, I was frequently powerless to flee this attacker. Now, I find myself wondering how I can work through this and stick with these feelings instead of running away. One very simple thing I am going to try is to look for the good, meaning, that when I am triggered to go to the heart of my rejection, that I take a moment to appreciate and contextualize, so I bring sense of objectivity to the situation. And to moderate my response accordingly.
Initially, my “oh, fuck” moment was filled with deep sadness and pain. But then it motivated me to get to work. I will soon be able to discern real rejection from perceived rejection, and real or perceived, I will be able to handle it.
Extreme responses linger from trauma and I am grateful to my insightful friend who loved me enough to help me today. She gets the Psycholobitch True Friend award.