Doing The Work ....
FROM AUGUST 12, 2022 (MOVING BLOG TO WEBSITE BLOG)
.... is exhausting and yet at the same time, so incredibly worth it. It's been such an interesting few months for me. I know I've come a long way on this journey of healing and at the same time, I know I still have a long way to go. I was driving the other day thinking about my most recent counselling session and I remembered why I stopped going to counselling in the past. When I was going before, it always felt like I was just re-hashing old trauma. I didn't leave my sessions with something to focus on until our next time and I ALWAYS felt so crappy after my sessions.
I have learned over the years that our bodies don't actually know we aren't re-living the experience and the exact same chemicals that were released during our traumas are re-released when we re-live them. Think about this. Let's say you were driving down the highway and this car came racing up behind you. Traffic was heavy and you could see this car weaving in and out. Your hands tense on the wheel and before you know it, this car has completely cut you off forcing you to slam on the brakes and nearly get hit by the car behind you. Your heart is racing and you are in full on stress mode. Everything is fine. There was no accident. Yet it was a "trauma" that your body experienced. Later on, you are re-telling the story to a friend and your voice changes, you get sweaty, and you get super passionate about telling the experience - your body experiences the EXACT same chemical release as it did when the incident actually happened. This is what I was experiencing every time I went to counselling. My abuse over and over and over and over again. So I stopped going.
I am so happy that I didn't just throw in the towel on counselling because this is not at all how I feel when I leave a session now. We have a focused hour together. I feel heard. I feel acknowledged. And I always leave with a plan until our next session. I am challenged to think about things differently. I am challenged to take on different perspectives. I am challenged to dig deep and really get to the root of how I am feeling and why. I am challenged to truly figure out what it is that I want! Don't get me wrong - these sessions are exhausting and I often leave emotional and messy. I am ok with that though because I do not leave feeling worse than when I went AND I am never forced to re-visit any of my old traumas which for me is key!
About 2 weeks ago, I was really struggling. I was sad. I was angry. I remember telling a friend that I didn't understand how to comfort little me when big me was so freaking sad and little me was completely freaking out. I wanted to crawl under a rock and hide and just not have to think or feel or anything anymore. I didn't see a way out of the complete and utter overwhelm of how I was feeling. During counselling this week, I was explaining this feeling to M as we often talk about our inner child and she said to me, "Tamara - you have adult you and child you confused. YOU as the adult can handle sadness. It's just a feeling where you think to yourself, 'ya - I'm sad'. But your little you was SAD and ANGRY and FREAKING OUT and and and. It wasn't adult you that was so sad."
I would have never thought about it like this and it was really eye opening for me. I thought that it was adult me that was that sad and when I sat back, I realized M was completely right. Sure I was sad but I wasn't broken. It wasn't the end of the world. I kind of giggled to myself when I made this realization because I could see how all those big emotions were little me and that little me was literally running the show. As M and I dug a little deeper with this she mentioned to me that she feels like little me is really mad at adult me. I asked her why. "Well - little you sees you give all of this love and support and joy and light to everyone else but she doesn't feel you give it to her - so she's mad at you." This hit me hard.
I have always felt like I am most authentically me when I am giving and creating and sharing love and light and the lessons I learn along the way. What I didn't realize though is that I need to share all of that with me as well. I think there has been a huge resistance to sharing this love and light with me because on that really deep level, I haven't felt worthy of it. So the more I pour in to other people, the better I feel as the grown up me, but this doesn't help all of me feel whole, loved, accepted, beautiful, and worthy.
So it appears I have some work to do in this area. For now, M has asked me to pay attention to the feeling in my tummy. When things feel "twingy" in there, she has asked me to acknowledge that is little me and to checkin with myself to see what I need in that moment. What is my gut trying to tell me? What is it that I need in this moment? Really listen and pay attention. That's my task for now and even though it's hard work, I will continue to do it.
There are definitely some days that I just don't want to do the work. It is so draining to try and unravel the trauma from our being and to be quite honest, there are some days I want to throw in the towel on this journey of feeling worthy and just accept that maybe I will never fully feel that way. I think this is how some people feel when they try to make any change in their lives. I know many of my clients feel this way when they are starting out on a fitness journey. They workout 2 days and then are so sore and frustrated that they want to just give up. I don't let them give up so I won't let me give up.
I have tried to avoid writing about my relationship and my ex for a while here because to be honest, this really has nothing to do with them - it's about me and my journey and how I get to a place of peace without the pain. I read a quote the other day that I almost shared in my social media and stopped myself because nobody would have read the caption. The quote said, "After a breakup, the loyal one stays single and deals with the damages until healed. The other one is already in another relationship." It rings VERY true to me but sharing that quote on my social media WITHOUT people reading the caption which is what really spoke to me, felt like a dig that I just didn't want to make. The caption reads, "Real facts, sometimes I just want to give in and call them, then I remember my worth and the disrespect. Now I just send them peace and love from afar. Thank you."
This is my goal. This is what I am working towards. Sending peace and love from afar. I know I will get there with continuing to do the work. Lately it's felt overwhelmingly hard to believe in my worth because of things like my ex moving on so quickly. Questions like, "am I that easily replaced?" and "did the last 9 years really matter?" come to mind and these thoughts can so easily spiral out of control. Sometimes it feels like these thoughts take over my entire head .... I end up wanting to sit in the fetal position and hold my head rocking back and forth to just make it stop. Ironically, just sitting here in this moment writing those words, I know that those thoughts are little me questioning her own value because .... well that's what a tiny human would do when they were told they would be hated. I can't tell you right now what I did to make these thoughts stop. I guess part of this process then is recognizing these moments of chaos and panic as moments where I need to show myself love, tenderness, and comfort. I need to take some time when this happens to hold space for me and to let that little me know that everything is ok, that she is loved, and that I am here for her.
It's interesting to sit back and think about how much over the past 9 years I have been challenged to find my worth and it is incredibly powerful to see how far I've come. In my Reiki session the other day, O helped release a ton of sadness and for the first time since October, the thought appeared in my head, "T, you're going to be ok" and I believed that statement entirely. That my friends is HUGE! I don't know that there is some magical destination in site that I am striving for. I think right now there are 2 big things I am working on. The first is recognizing when little me is trying to tell me something and the second is getting to the place where I can send peace and love from afar. I believe that once these 2 things feel "easy-ish", the next piece of self-work will become apparent to me and that this cycle will repeat as I move along the journey of growth removing the unwanted colours from my lawn chair and adding in the colours that I love.
Thank you again for being part of my journey and for holding space for me to reflect, to grow, to think, to learn, and to share. I am so incredibly grateful.