Katie doesn’t have any experience with this topic—that’s why she’s opening up to all of you in hopes of learning more!
It's been a month since I've written. I was spending time talking about my father and even though I only wrote 3 articles, believe me, the work was being done off the computer screen. But it was heavy--intense to talk about and think about so much. You all would comment on the posts I'd made sharing my newest article and when I would see the notifications, a new wave of emotions would hit as I once again circled back to the conversation of my father. I've heard all the best practices like, "healing isn't linear..." and whatnot and I get that.
But first we have to understand what we are healing from. I've realized that's where I was really struggling. And writing those 3 articles and hearing from all of you is what helped me realize that. (Well, and talking to a therapist). You all asked non-judgmental questions, you shared your own story without invalidating mine, and you simply listened to me. I find it amazing at what an individual can overcome or accomplish simply by being supported and encouraged.
When we have so much hurt, our instinct is to find someone to blame. It's human nature and we all do it all the time. Maybe it's some sort of coping mechanism? But it's also a bandaid. It might feel better in the moment to put the pressure on someone else, but deep down, the hurt is still there until we come to terms with it.
I think that is where I am. I'm not excusing any behavior or situation and I am not forgetting or even "moving on" so to speak. But I have forgiven. And now having lived with that hurt my entire life and finally learning how to let it go, I feel like I am meeting myself for the first time.
I had asked the following question to my closest friends, and then I posed the same question to you all -- "Are we finding ourselves or are we losing ourselves?" But now I'm wondering if a subquestion could be, "Do we know ourselves or are we just living with ourselves?" A personal goal of mine is to really be in tune with my emotional side. I am NOT at all qualified to talk about the synapses and patterns in our brain (I don't even know if I used the right words there) but on a much more rudimentary basis, I know that my brain doesn't always tell me the truth. I have certain exercises that I do to help me navigate this because I'm finding that the more I get to know myself, I mean really learning what makes me tick, the more whole I feel and the more healthy I am. Consequently, I fly off the handle less because I can identify anxiety versus reality.
Now and in the past, I often felt worn down and like I was giving too much of myself. But I'm seeing that was because I was trying to split half of me between me and approximately 200 other people. I wasn't giving them my whole self because I hadn't even let myself have it. I was reserving, holding back, and for what? Now, I can answer that. Because I had allowed someone to have that hold over me. Part of me was reserved because I compartmentalized myself. What if that's the part that my father didn't love? If so, let's hide the part from everyone. But that's my brain playing tricks. Or rather Satan playing tricks.
Moral of the story can actually be a few things:
1) I genuinely wouldn't be here without you. Of course this is a journey I am taking by myself, but I am not alone and I feel that from each of you.
2) No one is trying to fix my problems for me. And honestly, that's been the best medicine. Instead, I'm supported and loved and when I make mistakes, I'm forgiven.
3) We are all dealing with versions of trauma. I used to never use that word in relation to me because I always thought, "someone else has it worse." But the second that I called it out and admitted that I have been dealing with trauma for years, it didn't seem like the monster that I had conjured up in my head. Admit and acknowledge.
It's not about what happened to me anymore. It's about constantly reassessing where I am now--because healing isn't linear. Grief isn't linear. Trauma isn't linear. Love isn't even linear. You see the pattern here? But when you literally take things one day at a time, you can address your needs in digestible bits and actually make real progress.
Now that I'm learning to be a whole person and not just a person who had things happen TO her, I'd like to introduce myself--Hi, I'm Katie.