Trigger warning: Domestic abuse
Psychological Trauma: “Damage to the mind that occurs as a result of a distressing event; Often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope; Curable.”
If you’ve ever been through something that has left you feeling like you’re destroyed beyond repair, I want you to know you’re not alone. I’ve been there, feeling so helpless that the only alternative would’ve been to give up entirely, living in a constant state of fight or flight that left me feeling like I was alone and physically ill. That is the epitome of domestic violence.
I know how it feels to not have an ounce of strength and be begging for someone to save you; I know what it feels like to be holding on like your gasping for hope. One last chance, wracking your brain, trying to find enough strength to carry on when you’re so broken you can hardly form thoughts.
If I could spare you that pain, I would without hesitation. I would wrap my giant shield around you and keep all the demons away. If they got to you, I would absorb all that pain so you didn’t hurt anymore. I would hold your hand until you believed that not everyone was out to get you. I would stand by you until you eventually saw that most people are good. I would be patient with you and help you un-feel all the awful things you endured.
I know what it feels like to want to be saved. I understand feeling so trapped, gaslighted, and controlled that you’ve given up and accepted that you’ve lost the battle. Every dream and goal you’ve ever had feels like it just slipped through your fingers. You’ve lost. I know you feel brainwashed, manipulated, and gaslighted into believing it’s you, not the fact that you’re being mistreated. You can’t see that and I get it.
I need you to understand that it’s not you. That trauma affects the brain in a complex way. It damages your prefrontal cortex which affects emotion regulation and distorts your thought process. Now that you know that, let it be your anchor. Know that how you’re feeling isn’t who you actually are. There’s an old you in there—let that sliver of strength push you through. Even on the days when you feel numb and hopeless, you need to understand that the changes you’re feeling aren’t you. You need to realize you’re being conditioned and you are 100% in control.
We all want someone to save us, but that’s not realistic. You have to save yourself. It’s hard, and it takes time, and you’ll feel like you can’t some days. Keep going, because no matter where you end up, you’ll get to a point where you’ll look back on what you overcame and be overwhelmed with gratitude. You’ll come to realize that life isn’t about acquiring things, opportunities, or hitting milestones. It’s about seeing your worth, understanding what happiness is, and believing that you deserve to be.
Healing is messy and it hurts like hell. You can plaster on a fake smile, but that will only prolong the pain. You can only fake that you’re perfect for so long until it eventually seeps through into every area of your life.
You deserve so much better, so please keep going.