I am the survivor of trauma and PTSD.Â I always remembered what happened to me.Â Iâ€™d rather not remember.Â Iâ€™d rather bad things never happened to me at all and Iâ€™d never have to deal with them.Â Bad things did happen and I have to deal whether I want to or not.Â I found ways not to have to deal with remembering by never really looking directly at the pictures in my head.Â I guess I figured that turning a blind eye would make everything go away.Â The problem was that my feelings didnâ€™t go away.Â Sometimes I wouldnâ€™t feel there at all.Â Sometimes Iâ€™d feel all edgy and anxious.Â Sometimes Iâ€™d feel all confused and guilty.Â It was weird.Â When things got quiet or good, Iâ€™d feel scared.Â When people got close to me I felt scared. When people touched me Iâ€™d feel terrified. Iâ€™d have all sorts of weird triggers and I never put them together with the pictures in my head that I didnâ€™t want to see.Â When I got into therapy that told me to look at the pictures in my head Iâ€™d fall apart emotionally and run away.Â Then Iâ€™d feel guilty like I was really crazy and Iâ€™d never get better.
What helped me was joining support groups.Â Thereâ€™s something about being with people going through the same thing helps me feel less crazy when I am triggered.
The second thing that helped me was studying psychotherapy because I wanted to understand what I was dealing with. I wanted to learn what therapists supposedly knew about getting better.
What really started me getting better was figuring how my feelings were a form of memory.Â I think of Bees tell a story through dance by buzzing their wings so they can tell a feeling story without words. Brail tells stories without pictures.Â Brail tells feeling stories.
My feelings of fear, confusion, guilt and shame were an emotional story about what happened to me.Â The story is that I was frightened and became confused, guilty and ashamed.Â When I realized that the pictures in my head and the feelings in my body made perfect sense together I began to understand my triggers.Â I began to understand myself and my story in a way that finally made sense.
Knowing that feeling is a type of memory helped heal me.
Knowing that feeling is a form of memory helps my clients heal.
You donâ€™t have to hold every picture of trauma in your head to heal. Feeling can be enough.
Feelings are a form of memory that can be understood.