“Don’t be held hostage by trauma, heal it.” ~ Jaz
A message that came to me one day sitting on my bed after a few bad weeks. I’ve written about healing before, but this is going to be a little different.
The message of healing has been showing up for me, everywhere. Messages on social media, stories in magazines, things on television, and anyone who knows me knows how often I actually watch tv so I know God is trying to get my attention.
Why am I so miserable?
Why has my depression resurfaced?
I had to get real honest with myself! I had to ask myself some real serious questions. Questions like, how can I feel free in so many aspects of my life, but held hostage in others? How have I allowed trauma to become part of my new normal?
I also knew that it was time to find a new black therapist which I will meet with for the first time this weekend!
I knew that I needed to get to the root of the problem, and I needed to start from the beginning so I got my pen, my journal and began to write. Here is what I love about journaling, it doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t matter who it might offend. I can cuss as much as I like, and y’all, I cuss a lot, but in the words of Tabitha Brown, “that’s my business“. When I journal, there’s no judgement. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. I was in complete and utter shock. How did I get here? How did I forget to use my tools?
Some of the things that came up:
Being the only biological parent financially responsible for 4 children.
Caring for aging parents.
Being the GO-TO for aging parents.
Dealing with aging parents.
Trying to live my own life while dealing with aging parents.
Putting my dreams on hold to care for aging parents.
Dealing with a handicap sibling.
Bring the GO-TO for said handicap sibling.
Oh in case you’re wondering, yes I have other able bodied siblings...
Trying to maintain a healthy relationship while dealing with all of the shit above.
Yes, several things repeat. Why? Because this is what my life looks like day in and day out, and some things are heavier than others.
In my writing, breaking down what that hurt actually looked like, left me sad, but, it was necessary. I didn’t realize how much I was holding on to, and how heavy the trauma and baggage that I carry daily actually was! Here is how I ended my journal entry...
“I no longer have the desire to be everybody’s everything, in fact, I can’t if I want to live. I don’t want to be the strong one anymore. I’m exhausted. I want my life back.”
The stigma of the strong black girl, begins when you’re young. We’re taught that we can handle anything, AND if you’re raised in the Christian community, the level of strong increases substantially. We’re told that being a child of God, he won’t give his children more than they can bear, “umm hey Jesus, this truly feels like more than I can bear”. That’s the message we’re taught so we tend to bear more both consciously and subconsciously. We’re taught to maintain a pristine exterior, which means absolutely nothing if you’re hurting and broken on the inside? Girl out here just a dressed up, made up mess.
Now this is where I began to ask the hard questions. I had to accept responsibility for a lot of what I’ve been experiencing. The fact that I don’t speak up. The fact that I haven’t created healthy boundaries.
Here is the crazy thing about living with unaddressed trauma and hurt, you learn how to function with it. You ever heard of a functioning drunk? Very similar. It becomes part of you. It becomes normal. It also becomes familiar, so the concept of healing becomes foreign. Quite honestly, I don’t know what life looks like without trauma because I’ve held onto it for so long.
If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while, then you’re probably thinking, “didn’t you say you survived anxiety and depression?” That is correct, while I did indeed heal several damaged areas of my life, there were several that I didn’t address because I didn’t recognize it for what it actually was.
What was my wake up call? The fact that my physical health was now being affected. The fact that every doctor I’ve seen has told me that I need to reduce my stress, including the dentist! Y’all, your girl out here with a clenched jaw that the dentist could see. The fact that spontaneous crying had again become the new normal. The fact that everyday normal activities like showering had become hard. The fact that my consistency with several things in life had become inconsistent (blog included).
Here is what I came to realize about trauma, unaddressed hurt and the expectation to be strong, it’s completely damaging. I realized that...
You may have to heal without the I Love You’s you never got.
You may have to heal without the apology you never received.
You may have to create boundaries that make people upset.
You may have to heal with the hurt feelings, and that is okay.
You may have to heal by letting go of a loved one, or walking away from a relationship.
Why am I sharing this? To encourage someone that may be experiencing something similar. I’m sharing my story to remind you, (and myself) about the importance of healing. There is only one you, remember that! The importance of healing is not only vital to your mental health, but also to your physical health. Today I challenge you, to confront your trauma head on and HEAL it!
Until next time...🦋