The last week my thoughts and emotions have been all over the place. Opening up about the sexual abuse after 20 years, is extremely difficult. Together with my therapist I have been exploring how I must have felt whilst I kept everything to myself. This uncovered a lot of hidden emotions, which at times scare me.
Being an emotional dumping ground for everyone, I have difficulty to recognise my own emotions. My first responds to “What are you thinking?” and “What are you feeling?” is, “I don’t know”. Followed by “Sad?” or a different emotion. I never learnt to recognise my own emotions because I wasn’t allowed to have any. And the fact that I have always been around people who projected their own “negative” emotions and feelings on to me, makes me a very confused individual. The only emotion and feelings I recognise are, sadness, guilt and shame. People always made me believe I was doing something wrong, both as a child and an adult. Both friends and strangers.
I realise I have always been alone, even when I thought I had friends. They were only “friends” with me for their own benefits. Whatever was “wrong” with me was a reason for them to blame and shame either directly or indirectly. If I needed them, this would always be followed by sighs and “If I must” attitudes and direct and indirect complaints. Yes, I totally missed the lesson in “Actions speak louder than words”. If I tried to explain that I wasn’t able to help out or if they’d upset me, it’d be twisted around so I would feel like the bad one. All this backstabbing and projecting led me to believe I couldn’t confide and trust in anyone, to be by myself with my traumas and grieve. They would always find a way to either tell me or show me I didn’t belong. But I did belong of course, when they needed something from me. I grew up with this confusion and this has stayed with me because I grew attached to toxic people. Instead of facing their own patterns and problems, they’d project them on to me. I can only help myself now I recognised my own patterns.
Whilst I discover the uncovered emotions and try to process them, I have difficulty to express myself. I can’t draw my feelings and thoughts, painting sucks at the moment and I can’t do anything creative. I just feel stuck. Writing this blog post is a great accomplishment to try and figure out what’s going on.
A few things I focus on right now, so I don’t fall into a depressive episode again:
- Realise I have new healthy friendships
- There are a lot of people out there like me
- I am no longer alone
- I can talk about what’s going on with my new friends
- I am able to learn to code and build websites
- I am able to focus on coursework
- I am able to read
- I can still draw and paint with examples and learning techniques (which doesn’t need much of your own imagination)
- I can still take proper care of myself even though I had two bad days. Recognising this made me get back on track
- Exercise helps when I feel anxiety build up. I can do this at the gym and at home
- I get my full benefits back, so no more stress about finding a job whilst I can’t work
- Volunteer work is still going good
- I have healthy coping skills
- Realise that uncovered emotions are part of the healing process
So even though my head is all over the place, listing these things also shows I’m still in control of my own life. I am not forcing myself to do the things I’d normally do and nobody is expecting that of me. For the first time I can just be. Whatever that is, at this moment.
How do you process uncovered emotions? Let me know in the comments below or send me a personal email.
Love & Light, Sandra