Around the beginning of September I started to experience a big increase in insomnia, nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and other CPTSD symptoms. I have had some time to think about this increase in symptoms and why the cycle has started up seemingly out of the blue. It’s not out of nowhere though. When you are in the thick of things, it can be difficult to see clearly what is going on. I am coping with less abuse. I didn’t realize that I was putting up with so much until I wasn’t. Now that I have stepped back from myself a little and have more self awareness, it is clear. I am not going to heal in an environment that I am constantly having my boundaries violated and I have to guard myself. Wounds don’t heal that way either physical or psychological.
Coping with peace instead of abuse can bring about a lot of turmoil in a mind programmed for surviving violence and psychological torture. My mind thinks peace is just part of the abuse cycle and at any point another stage of it will kick in. I am trying to armor myself, clench up, brace for impact of some sort of violence, rape, or other abuse. The cycle of abuse is: tension builds, an incident occurs, reconciliation/honeymoon stage, period of calm, and the cycle starts over.
When my mind is not coping with active abuse it processes trauma. The more peace, the more processing it does. Having to deal with trauma that my mind once kept hidden is a special sort of hell that I have to go through instead of around. There is no avoiding it if I want to get to feeling better. In fact, avoiding it will make me feel worse. There is no going back. The flood gates don’t just close with everything going back the way it was.
The conclusion that is I am way too hard on myself and I expect way too much while having to deal with all these things at once. The pace has to slow down to match with what is actually happening. More compassion and gentleness is needed. Now that I have the abusers out of my life I need to stop being abusive with myself. Pushing myself to do more, more, more and base my value on what I can produce is hurting me. I need time to adjust more to my new environment. Taking on more is a way to distract myself and run from the work of healing. Healing is painful so running makes sense. Working instead of addressing the problem had worked in the past. But this is now.
In order to help myself instead of hurt myself I have to compare. Do I treat other people this way? Do I push them despite them being in pain? No, I have great compassion for others. I have understanding, patience, and empathy. I don’t need to treat myself like this. Doing so is hindering my adjustment and healing instead of helping it along. Now that I know, I can do better. This is not a change that happens all at once. It takes time an practice like everything else. Step 1 is to let myself rest. I don’t need to be doing anything right now.