A Few Thoughts on Moving on and Coping With Trauma

Today someone posed the question to me "How are you so okay with what happened to you?" in regards to an abusive situation. They couldn't understand why I wasn't mad, or vengeful. They asked me "How does it not bother you?" The truth is, it does bother me. I think any person who's been through any sort of trauma still has triggers. There's always going to be a part of me, even if it's just the most imperceptible flinch or fleeting thought, that gets scared. Whether it's from the raising of a hand, simply used for emphasis or an argument; someone getting too close, or yelling that will implant a certain fear into my body. I've had struggles being intimate even with someone I really love because sometimes my brain just gets lost for a second and I lose my head and where I am. There's not really anything to be done about that. I stopped trying to think of it as letting go of it but more accepting it and understanding that it happened and how that affects me but at the same time, I can move forward with that. It's been hard to trust certain people and scary but I had to give trust to get it and even though it was difficult adjusting if I hadn't gone through the struggle and fear with my current partner I never would have gotten to the point where I am doing so much better with my ideas of love and relationships and I wouldn't have been able to get to that point where I really could trust a guy again and wouldn't be as happy or in love as I am. I do feel a lot more separated from past situations since things have improved so much. To be honest there's only so much you can still do with that. There's always going to be a part that still touches you that may make you fear a certain type of person, appearance, sound maybe even smell. In my case, I have a natural distrust for men who look a certain way. Sometimes, it bleeds into all men in general. And you can say that is unfair but it's not something that can be helped and it is something that I try to not hold against other people.

In the end I know I am safe, and loved, and protected. I can't say that it doesn't bother me because it does, in a way, but the important thing is that I'm trying to cope. Sometimes I go a whole day without my thoughts wandering to it. When I was doing really well it was almost weeks. Maybe, if you're really lucky months can go by, although that seems a far way off. And then ultimately my brain takes me back there again. And that's okay. Because it happened and there isn't any shame in it and I'm learning how to handle it better so that it doesn't hurt me as much. One is entitled to feel what has been done to them. And then it resets and starts all over again. I can't ever guarantee how I react but I can say that the more time passes the less likely I am to flinch at a loud bang, or someone sneaking up behind me. I can now have someone hover over me, or on top of me, or put their weight on me in any way and, at least much more of the time, still be able to breathe. There are still times where it makes me nervous, even if it's just an arm around the shoulder. Where I want to push a person touching me away, where I need a second to remember how to breathe. But I'm gaining the ability to remind myself that whoever is holding me, is holding me because I allow them to. Because I trust in them. Because I know they care. Because I know they won't hurt me. Things are lightening. So it still bothers me, and I'm not as okay as you might think but I am getting better and I'm gonna keep up with that.

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