I don’t feel like I’m particularly well suited to discuss this topic. I’m not a doctor or a therapist, and I haven’t done an inordinate amount of research on the topic, but I have to get it out. My soul can’t contain this.
Very recently, someone that I love very much was kidnapped. By that I mean they were legitimately taken against their will to another location. One minute they were walking down the street with friends, and the next thye’re in a hotel room with someone who is trying to have sex with them. Fortunately they were able to get away, but they’re still highly traumatized, and rightfully so. What’s worse is that they were ashamed of the actions they took afterward, trying to reassert control over their own body. It’s not unusual for someone who has gone through a trauma like that to look to regain authority over their body through sex. I know it’s not, because I went through the exact same thing.
So it turns out that this isn’t about them, not really. It’s about how I can’t concentrate, how I keep thinking about what could have happened. Wondering if they’re ok. How I have to stop myself from texting them every five minutes to make sure that they’re ok. I can’t concentrate on my work. I can barely concentrate on writing this blog post.
I think, in part, I can’t get it out of my head because – on some level, possibly multiple deep levels – this was a big trigger for me. Not only am I contending with the normal worry for my friend, but it reminds me of portions of my own life that I’d rather not re-live. I’m telling myself that I’m safe, they’re safe, everyone is safe. I’m telling myself it wasn’t me that happened to, and that I have no reason to be reacting this way. I even tried calling my therapist.
That helped a little.
When I called my therapist, she said what I had already figured out – that this is a trigger for me. Some of the things my friend said and did reminded me – painfully – of things that I said and did during my marriage and it’s aftermath. The truth of the matter is that I don’t really thing that I deserve to have the same thoughts and feelings as I am having right now. It’s been many years since these things happened to me – now I have a loving husband and stepsons and who am I to get triggered by something that didn’t even happen to me?
But healing isn’t linear, is it?
I don’t really know what that means for me. Maybe it means that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Maybe it means I never dealt with things in a timely manner and this is my comeuppance.
Maybe it just is what it is.