I don't know what it is about today, but I am doing some major reflecting. Thinking about things that are really important to me. Why today? Well, for the last few months I have been wallowing in my past and the things that I've gone through to the point that it had me stuck. I don't know if you've ever felt or is currently feeling stuck in one spot, well its not a pleasant experience. I felt as though I wasn't going anywhere, no matter how hard I put on the fake smile or what I like to called the "painted personality". I call it painted because just like old paint, it starts to crack and chip exposing what really underneath. That unveiling is what I'm going through now.
For the last couple of years after my divorce, I have been masking my pain as if I was alright and healed. I convinced those around me that I had moved on and ready to get on with my life. Well, since the beginning of 2023, I have encountered triggers that caused me not only to think about my past, but relive it. Not actually the situation itself, but the pain I felt during. While experiencing the triggers, I didn't realize I was becoming more irritable, distant and sad. It wasn't until a close friend messaged me and asked if I was ok that I realized I was definitely not ok. If I can be honest, it started around my birthday last year. I had just came back from a family vacation in Los Angeles with me and my kids. We had so much fun, however I didn't realize I was being triggered as well.
Trauma and Triggers
Triggers can show up from anything....a person, place or thing. For example, my daughter shared she finds it hard engaging in mere conversations with certain people in relation to her traumatic past experience. For others, it could be a song or even a sound that triggers them. That being said, I was triggered by my birthday. I know its odd, but as my birthday approached I started thinking about my ex more and more. Not so much as him as my husband, but thoughts of the relationship and more specifically things that happened which lead to our divorce. The more I thought about those event, the more down I felt. This sadness lasted for the next several of months. But, I didn't catch on that this is what was happening at. I just knew I was thinking about the events of my marriage and the fact that it ended. It wasn't until I was preparing to see my own client and discuss trauma and triggers that I realize I had been triggered myself. If you didn't know, trauma is an emotional response to a distressing event(e.g. war, an accident, etc), an unexpected loss of a loved one( including a relationship), a experience (e.g. abuse). Its any event that leaves a person devastated and feeling dreadful. That is what I experience, that is my truth. But I put on the happy face and kept going without cease. However, just as I have reminded my clients, the veil is only a temporary fix. Healing is forever. But in order to heal, you must admit that the problem is still there much like an addict must admit they have a problem. This is was hard for me because then I had to face the intensity of the pain all over again. But this was something I had to do if I finally wanted to be free. So I did. I looked within and gave it a name...."it" meaning my pain and suffering. It was anger and regret. Those were the 2 things that I sheltered. And realizing that it wasn't just toward my ex-husband, but myself also. For things I said and did that was out of my character. For giving up in other areas of my life because I was angry with my ex. Even talking about it right now feels good. I can finally release what I tried to bury and unveil my emotional truth.
Now I am healing and I'm appreciating the process. I can now look within and see a healthier emotional me without the mask. Honestly, I didn't think this was possible, but it is. Its about knowing your triggers, admitting your trauma and give it a name, and allowing the process of healing to take place. And if I can do it, anyone can.
This is not goodbye, just see ya later.