I Can Only Handle So Much!

My body, mind, and emotions could only handle so much before my brain began to compensate.

I was traumatized beyond my limits, and somehow my conscious awareness checked out and my memories were lost. I was in an environment where I could not process the effects of what happened. And worse yet, I was harmed further. My emotions and memories got pushed further and further inside my already broken spirit. The trauma only increased because I was left without support and experienced further victimization because of the abuse I endured.

I can only handle so much!

I was abandoned by my family and friends. I have lived a very lonely and isolated existence. And if this were not enough, I was often looked down upon for not having friends or trusting people enough to risk relationships. When I do risk, I become filled with fear and anxiety of being hurt or losing once again.

Everything about me feels misunderstood. And so I hide, all the while trying to appear as though none of these struggles are going on inside of me. I wear a mask to protect myself. I long to be my real authentic self, but somehow I instinctively know that if I were, no one would really accept me. And others’ well meaning comments would wound my soul further. I have become so good at hiding, that even when I seek help, I try to minimize my trauma because I am afraid of being hurt or misunderstood even by the professionals I hope can help me. I long to find help, but I am afraid.

I can only handle so much!

My body often becomes filled with anxiety and even simple life experiences can elicit fear. Certain circumstances can trigger memories of past trauma, whether consciously or unconsciously, that leaves me paralyzed. In these moments, my body tightens, my emotions escalate, and often I feel like a caged animal with no way out. These events can happen at anytime, anywhere. This only escalates my fears of simply living life. So I avoid situations that others find pleasure in. And when I risk living, I know it is at a potentially high cost.

I can only handle so much!

I have been pushed beyond my limits over and over and over again. Everything has gotten mixed together into one big heap. Each individual trauma has now become unrecognizable and I cannot bear to look at the combined traumatic heap. I am left with overwhelming sadness, unexplained fear, and anxiety that deepens. I am afraid of my own thoughts and feelings. I minimize what happened to me while at the same time continuing to bear the emotional and physical effects of the very trauma I try so hard to hide.

I can only handle so much!

Unexpected individual experiences leave me in tears often without an explanation or anything to relate it to. Life is confusing. Fear of these unforeseen experiences make life unbearable at times. It causes me to hide and pull away from circumstances and people that could add further potential pain.

I can only handle so much!

My husband had a conversation with me this morning about how he notices that I often write and talk about my trauma in the third person. And what brought up this conversation was that I originally wrote this in the third person. He suggested that I change it to the first person since I was talking about my own experiences. This was a very painful realization regarding my inability to own my pain and how easy it is for me to minimize it.

He also pointed out that when it was in the third person, I read it to him without crying. Since changing it to the first person, I can not read it through without crying. It causes me to connect with my own pain. I can accept and relate to others’ trauma better than I can my own. Today is an attempt to correct this.

Because, I can only handle so much!

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23 thoughts on “I Can Only Handle So Much!

  1. Oh dear friend, I understand this and relate to it very well. My posts I write are in the first person and many, many times when reading my posts they bring me to tears. I appreciate your feelings and your words, but most importantly I appreciate you. Hope you have a great weekend and hubby is recovering well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this and could relate so strongly to every little thing you detailed. I’m sure we are twins!! I know exactly how you feel because I have felt it. It is easing off though in severity as I progress in my healing journey, so please keep hold of hope. Regarding the third person thing, my therapist actually recommended I write in the third person deliberately as a distancing strategy, as she said I’d be able to express more of what needed to come out, things that would be too overwhelming emotionally to write in the first person, so it can be a good thing too as well as bad. In therapy I always spoke in the first person though. Verbal and written expression maybe call for different things, I don’t know, just thinking out loud. I’m sorry you’re feeling so tearful. I know totally what it’s like. Cyber hugs, keep going, you’ll be okay ❀ 😊

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    1. I am sorry for all of your struggles… that you can relate. I am glad you are making progress. Thank you for sharing your experience and for the encouragement. I appreciate it very much, my “Twin!”

      After this writing experience, I told my husband that maybe this might be a good strategy for me: to first write in the third person and then edit it to the first person. This may allow me to speak my truth about the things that I am too afraid to speak about. I am not sure if it will work, but it is worth a try.

      I can relate it to being able to defend and protect someone else even though I cannot protect myself.

      I seem to have the distancing strategy down. It is the connecting that is so difficult. If and when I write in the first person, I get filled with fear and anxiety. While still very painful, this way softened the blow.

      As far as being okay goes, that is the plan. I do have a hard time with that word though. Maybe because everything is all jumbled together tied up in knots. It seems overwhelming. And I have spent my life trying hard to appear okay while dying inside. If I ever get some real help sorting it all out, maybe it will become manageable. I think I have anxiety over not knowing that it is okay to not be okay! If that makes any sense?

      Hugs back to you! I wish you all the best!

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      1. That compromise idea is really good about the third person/first person switch, let me know how you find it 😊 I might try it πŸ’ͺπŸ‘ If you’re going to really connect with your emotions it helps to do it in a considered pre-planned way, ie. Prepare how you will self soothe afterwards, have people around or grounding activities planned. I know of a good book. I’ll send you the link when I get time. I get that for you allowing yourself to be not okay is the goal. I used to be a perfect perfectionist who thought I had to have it all together but now I know how unhealthy that is πŸ’– All the best to you πŸ™‚ X

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        1. I love all that you shared here with me. You gave me a lot to think about. Since I have been dealing with everything on my own (without a therapist) for years, it is my writing that allows me to grieve. Having things to ground me during these times is good to keep in mind as I find myself becoming overwhelmed and wanting to retreat after I express myself.

          And what you shared about being perfect helped put into words for me what I have been trying to express to my husband. Just last night he was asking me if I am aware that even when people say positive things to me, my brain turns them into a negative. It is because I lived under extreme pressure to be perfect my whole life. And so when someone says something positive to me, I feel as though their expectation of me is to be perfect. Which is everything I am trying to free myself from. It is a vicious cycle and excruciating. It means a lot that you get this. Thank you so much Summer!

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        2. I TOTALLY GET IT, and there are many unhappy perfection seekers out there. I don’t know of any happy perfectionists to be honest! I find compliments hard to stomach too. Though on my blog I am learning to trust that if people leave a nice comment they probably actually mean it, which was a struggle to absorb at the beginning lol. Excruciating is a good word for it. I cannot imagine how you could come to terms with everything without a therapist…that is a HUGE undertaking. I remember my therapist’s words in my head all the time. I am learning to internalise the self-compassionate thinking style she taught me to employ. I came from the “perfect family” who were totally UN-PERFECT!! They couldn’t have been more immoral, but their expectations on me were ridiculous. Writing is a great way to grieve, though sharing it with a confidante, or multiple confidantes is important too. It is good to take care of yourself, that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned. I was used to abusing myself almost, by pushing myself so hard and being so self-critical and never accepting anything less than total perfection. I am better than I used to be, but still have a lot of work to be done. I’m a piece of work, unfinished, but thank goodness I started πŸ™‚

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        3. I am having a few bumpy starts, but through blogging I finally got up enough courage to see a therapist a few months ago. It has been rough trying to find someone. I am hopeful the one I am seeing this week will be a good match. You are really very remarkable Summer. I feel as though I should be picking you up off the floor!!! ; ) And here you are encouraging me. I am truly touched! You have so much to offer. You really are an amazing and beautiful soul!

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        4. Ahh you are so lovely. Just your general kindness is so uplifting to me. I try and uplift others, it’s a strategy that works as an anti-depressant πŸ™‚ I have a lot of time and respect for survivors as I know how it feels to walk this healing path. I work on myself everyday, to try and have the best life I can have, in the midst of horrible inner circumstances. I’m glad I can help just a little πŸ™‚ x

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        5. I don’t think there are any words to describe how amazing you are… honestly you are remarkable. It shows how hard you have worked on yourself. I can very much relate to the striving to have the best life you can have. You have been like a beautiful “Summer” day!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. This post has expressed everything so well! I am not able to explain my emotions and experiences at this level as yet but I can definitely relate to many aspects that you have mentioned here! Thank you for sharing! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand what you are saying, as I was only able to express all of this today. It felt like a milestone for me. Unfortunately expressing our own pain has its own anxiety. Afterward it can leave you with feelings of wanting to hide. I am so sorry for the deep pain and suffering you are experiencing. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here. This probably wasn’t easy for you to do either.

      Liked by 1 person

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