There are days were I feel as if I have come some far. It is as if I am a new woman, confident, strong and extremely driven. No one can stop me, not even myself for I know who I am and what I want. Then there are days were it seems I have reverted back to the old me. The frail, soft spoken, and insecure, me.
The reminders of who I was and what he did to me are everywhere. The smell of whiskey tends to send me into flashbacks of my childhood. These are not good flashbacks, they are the kind that you desperately want to forget, yet they continue to haunt you. Unfortunately whiskey is my drink of choice, right next to red wine. Just like his.
Sometimes it all starts when I first wake up in the morning. The feeling of being lost and broken weighs heavy on my heart. The presence of my old self lingers around my head. One look in the mirror can solidify if I am embodying the old or new me. The old me tends to nit pick and belittle any sliver of self esteem I have. While the new me typically chants positive mantras over and over and over. Reminding myself that I am beautiful and imperfections are perfection.
Certain situations trigger episodes for me. This past weekend I attended an amazing concert, but I still had to ruin it in a sense. We were enjoying a fun evening in Dallas when my anxiety and claustrophobia got the best of me. During the middle of the set I witnessed a young man being aggressive and abusive to this lady. After witnessing this my anxiety sky rocketed. There were hundreds and hundreds of people, and obviously it was rather loud. I was not able to properly process everything that was going on around me. So naturally I had a panic attack.
While anxiety is something I deal with on the daily, panic attacks are not. Those are typically brought on when I add unnecessary stress to my day to day life. So why did going to a concert, which I have done multiple times before, send me into such distress?
After pondering this for a brief time I was able to make the connection as to why this happened. Growing up our house was never quite, there was always yelling, things being broken and family members getting hurt. My father was extremely controlling. The only way we were allowed to do anything was if we conspired behind his back. There was never a moment of peace in our house unless he was passed out drunk on the floor. Which usually meant he was out for the rest of the night.
Going back to the episode I had at the concert… At the time it was confusing and overwhelming, but now it all makes sense. I was in a situation where I was confined unable to quickly escape, there was a man openly displaying abuse, whiskey was my drink of choice, and it was loud. The events leading up to having that panic attack all had some sort of association with my childhood abuse. While upon the first thought you may assume that I am overthinking this, or playing into being the victim. Please take into consideration that the trauma from my childhood directly effects my day to day processes and decision making.
Let me say that I am not putting this out here for pity. One, I needed to get this off my chest hence the rambling and unorganized writing style. And two, we all come from different walks of life. We have all been through different struggles. The last thing we need is for others to judge us for our actions and responses. This has been said time and time again, but you never know what someone is going through. Please try your best to be understanding of others. Most importantly just love people, with our heavy baggage and all. Healing takes time, we are learning and growing as we go. Being surrounded by loving and understanding people can work wonders on a broken heart.