Monday, May 22, 2017

Memories Of Glory Days And Trauma

(by Survive, Thrive And Conquer, Matt)

If there is one point that has been driven home to me time after time, since I started my recovery journey as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, it's this...

Everything goes back to when we were abused, it's all tied together and intertwined in our adult lives. To add to that point, trauma is cumulative. It continues to build on top of the original event(s).

The depression, the flashbacks, frustration about how our life turned out... anything that brings up feelings of distress can often be traced back to our trauma, any type of trauma. No matter how far removed we are in time or space, the memories are still present and can be triggered back to the forefront of our minds in a hot second.

Let's look at this in a different way.  A comparison of what it feels like to remember trauma vs. what it feels like to remember good times in our lives. Are they really connected in some way?

 

Actually yes, they can be.


Remembering the good times in our life, our Glory Days if you will... and then feeling sad, frustrated, and angry at why they had to end.

My glory days were when I was in high school. Specifically, my junior and senior year. I was able to turn my life around, and take my life back from the bullies, my abuser, my mother,  and live the life I was born to live. I was doing what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it. I had cool friends, a fun job, a great little beater car, and awesome music to listen to.

Maybe for you, reliving your glory days means recalling your college years, or a time when you did a lot of traveling. Perhaps when you first met your spouse, became a parent, or found your calling in life. Whatever time you can look back on and feel like, "Damn, I was having a great time and nobody was bringing me down." Take a minute and recall those memories now.

Before we go any further, make sure that those memories are held in a safe place in your heart. Nobody should ever be able to take them away or be able to taint them in any way. They are yours and yours alone to fondly remember anytime you want.

 

Once you've done that... read on.


Now, if we think back to the feelings we had in our minds during the time of our abuse; what do those feelings look like for you?  Be kind to yourself here, friends...

For me that feels like: being scared and feeling all alone. It's a feeling of worthlessness, emptiness, and confusion. Helplessness, no self-esteem, and no ability to think for myself.

Now...how do you feel remembering when your glory days started to come to an end?  Are there similarities?
  • Confused? Why did they have to end...what did I do or not do to cause this change?
  • Alone? You had everybody and everything, so to speak, and very few worries. Now all of the sudden you are all by yourself again and all of the worries of everyday life are coming back.
  • Empty? Everything that you lived for and did, that made you feel so good is now gone and you're left with only the memories.
  • Questioning your ability to make good decisions? Questioning yourself as an adult overall?

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Just by those two examples alone, the way it felt when the good times ended and the way it felt during the times that we experienced abuse at the hands of someone who violated us, it affirms that as we continue to work on one part of our trauma, we also help heal many other aspects of our lives as well.

A greater understanding of ourselves helps us to feel at ease, and know that we are doing the right thing in putting in all the work needed to heal.


-Matt (SurvivingMyPast.net)



 





Matt is a regular columnist on Mind Body Thoughts.  He writes Survive, Thrive and Conquer monthly column.  This article is written by Matt.

To learn more about him and see all his other articles, go to Matt's Page, Survive, Thrive And Conquer.





Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly and Matt
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