All these years I thought I was strong. I thought I was able to handle anything life threw at me, if I was just strong enough. So I played the role. And I believed it. I believed I was okay because the only other option was too hard to deal with. The truth is, I don't think I was strong enough to process everything I had gone through. So I threw it away. I got rid of my past and I made myself into someone else. The only problem was that I didn't know who I was. I still don't.
I didn't forget my past, not entirely. I just choose not to remember it. Everytime I recount my history to someone, I speak about it as if I'm am reading facts from a textbook. That's all the past is anyway, right? Just facts. I only met myself feel emotions regarding my trauma a few times a year. And even then, I only let myself feel sadness about missing my dad and my childhood. I didn't let myself dwell on anything else about that situation. I was too busy with the present anyway. Struggling my way through middle school after moving states, and with my mom recently diagnosed with breastcancer. Living in an apartment with just her, trying to get by with money we could get from the state, since she was unemployed.
Even after that chapter of my life has passed, and I had graduated from high school, I was still careful about what emotions I let myself feel. I have no real reason to be sad anyway, right? And what do all those emotions help with anyway? I know bottling up emotions is bad, so I wouldn't do that. I would dive in to books, or movies, or my own daydreams. I would let myself feel for those characters. I would immerse myself in those worlds, and let myself feel.
Somehow, I was able to make all this work for me. Everyday life is so hectic anyway, so it was hard to tell there was anything wrong under the surface. I didn't even realize there was anything I was covering up, that's how good I was at it.
So yes, I thought I was strong, and was still feeling that way until recently. Now, though, everyone is in quarantine. Life isn't so busy anymore. Those monsters under the surface, that I had hid even from myself, have started making waves. Of course, I noticed.
"Oh," I thought.
"There are some things I need to process. I can handle that. I have all the skills I need. I've been through so many forms of therapy, I don't need any help now. I can work through this on my own and be fine. This will be easy. I'll just work through it, and I'll know what to do as I go. This probably won't even hurt. I know what I'm doing now. Plus, everything happened so long ago, how could it hurt me now? I'm not afraid of my past. That all happened to a little girl. I'm an adult now. This will be no problem."
So I went to face my monsters. I started out okay. It seemed like I could make this work. I kept going. I hit a wall. My brain is aware of what I'm trying to do, and won't put up with it. It gave me one small memory as a warning. It wasn't even much, and I had been expecting much worse as far as the content of the memories. I wasn't expecting the feelings that would come with them. The memory I received was enough to make me shutdown what I had been doing.
"We don't want these memories," my brain tells me.
"See how ugly they feel? See what I'm protecting you from? You're going to stop now, right?"
But I don't know what to do now. If I'm having issues, I should deal with them, right?
This is still recent, so I haven't unraveled the rest of my feelings about it yet. Hopefully I'll make another post soon. If you've read this far, then I would really appreciate it if you would comment below if you relate to this at all.