For not being ready?
Listen you, that’s not needed. Your ready comes when it comes. My ready does too. Please know that there is absolutely no reason to apologize.
This thing is best allowed flow through at bites for which you can manage to chew. You can hurt yourself if you try to go too fast. I am not interested in having you hurt more than you already have and might still.
Go at the pace that is right for you. I’ll be cheering you on when and if you share.
Do not worry about the pace of others. Compare yourself to you and only you.
- Where were you with it a year ago?
- Are you better about it, more connected to your true / higher self?
- Are you more willing to look at the thing?
It seems to me that you are. That is your litmus test. Gauge by you, not by others. I have had the benefit of diagnosis, I have language via the terms and labels.
I don’t care for them all the time, but there are benefits to knowing what to call the thing. To knowing what to search on. To seeing the symptoms named and knowing what they mean. All of that is helpful for me.
Writing does help. I can even tell you from a scientific perspective why it helps —
It helps because in writing you are actually taking the memories and moving them from the fear centers of the brain — where you only feel , you don’t use those parts to think — to the communication centers — where you process information. In giving the memories words you actually take some of the bite out of them.
You are more rational in those parts of the brain where your language centers live by way of the function of that part of your brain.
Think of it as moving the memory through a pipe from your brain stem (lizard brain) to your cerebral cortex where your language and reasoning skills get ahold of them and help you organize them in a way that is less threatening to your stability and happiness.
That’s why writing helps. Trauma memories aren’t stored in your brain the way other memories are. They get reactivated because they are not integrated with the rest of you. This is what actually causes — for lack of a better term — the brain damage.
Memories are not supposed to be quarantined in this way. They certainly aren’t supposed to live tucked inside your fear feelers to the point that you don’t know why you’re having such a visceral reaction to a person who taps you on the shoulder when you didn’t see them coming.
My phone going off scares me half to death. Every time. Even if I am looking at it, even if I’m expecting the message — I jump every time. That’s an over-active startle response. Just one example of how my amazing brain in its attempt to protect me from things I was not emotionally mature enough to handle when they happened has come back around to bite my ass later.
And something else worth mentioning is that —
Flashbacks, disassociation and triggers are opportunities the brain provides to allow us to finally integrate as we could not when we were far too young to do so.
Writing it down will help. I was at a conference recently for people who need service animals. My favorite presenter there — Laurel Braitman — when asked how to get past the pain enough to write it down said this —
“The point isn’t to get past the pain. The point of writing it is to feel it — to allow the full weight of it to take hold. It feels terrible, it is messy and it is very difficult, but writing it, helps us name it, naming it helps us feel it, feeling it lets us process it and processing it ultimately is what helps us heal.”
Even if you don’t publish, write it anyway. I’ve been to inpatient treatment and have worked with many different therapists for this — all professionals I’ve interacted with agree that if you’re thinking about the thing, you are ready to process it — you will not be able to access those memories that you’re not ready to process without brute force — which is why forcing it can be so devastatingly harmful.
Which is why you’re not allow to say you are sorry for not hurting yourself on account of me.
That’s a lot of words for one sentence and I’m on the other side of the planet from you. There will be more tomorrow.