I have been down the road of traumitization after traumitization so many times I cannot even count. I have read books, studied medical journals, read statistics all in an effort to heal myself from the hurt caused by his addiction. When I started a 12 week course with another friend on healing….I kinda thought I knew it all. I even fancied myself somewhat an expert on the subject. But this one, this course took me by surprise. I explored hurt I thought was well done and buried. I learned for the first time why it was important to have emotional safety plans and how to take care of mysel in the process. Yeah, what? Seriously, I am not kidding.
First of all, emotional safety. The very nature of his actions consistently puts me in emotional harm. Even when he wasn’t acting out the memories of the past hurts kept triggering new trauma. I almost laughed out loud at the concept. There is no way, I could be emotionally safe. Okay, I will acknowledge that healthy boundaries can help with trauma moving forward….but what about the hurts of the past? How pray tell, when those experiences creep up am I supposed to protect myself from them? Besides stuffing them deep down somewhere in an abyss of emotional crap or avoiding any potential situation that could possibly be a trigger…like going to the mall. (Ladies you know what store I am talking about.) What on earth could possibly cause me to feel emotionally safe?
Well the first part was figuring out that emotional safety isn’t not feeling the pain. It was feeling the pain in a time and space where I was safe. Safe from ridicule or memory of additional trauma. So let me suggest that your bedroom may not be the place for this. And a sister who is or has walked this road is a great place to start. Not necessarily the answer…but a place to start.
Second was taking care of myself while experiencing the trauma whether old or new. This was even a tougher concept. I am a notorious self sacrificer. Yep it’s a word, I just made it up and now you have permission to use it. I would sacrifice my body, my money, my time, my heart, and my energy for my friends, my family, my spouse, my job & bosses with out so much as batting an eye. It made me feel good. At least until I would collapse…usually physically. And then, start again. The real pain is that I was actually killing myself slowly, and it was okay with me as long as everyone else around me was happy and well adjusted. I actually saw that as taking care of me…no boat rocking here.
So when the most recent discovery day happened (number 10 million give or take a few), my dear friend said…”I want to make sure you are taking care of yourself.” I about died. Seriously, what the heck does that mean? And then it hit, going back to one of our previous lessons. Doing something strictly for me that is healthy, soothing and restores my soul. I knew just the thing…and it meant a trip to the mall.
My self care plan looks something like this….first a Venti Fully Fatted Extra Caramel Drizzel Caramel Machiatto from Starbucks. Second, either bath salts from Bath and Body Works or my personal fave…the Lush bath bomb, and you know what? Despite the pain, despite the crap fest happening….all is right with the world in those moments. So today, Bombs Away!