When the world crumbles, what do I have left?

For years I’ve been angry. Deep down inside, something lingered that just wouldn’t release its grip. I’ve wept at my own sin, more times than I can count, asking God over and over again to take this burden from me.

Over the past three or so years, I worked with a very smart, very wise woman. She was my trauma informed therapist (I will get into that title, later) but I began to think of her more as my Mentor. A woman with a strong soul. It was evident very quickly to me, as someone who naturally doesn’t trust easy, that I could trust her. She would tell me the truth, about myself, about my behavior and reactions, about my ways of being that did not serve me. Over many sessions, she pointed out ways I could grow that I didn’t see before.

It was with her I was finally able to understand why. Why I felt so angry. Why I reacted so strongly to what, to “healthy” people seemed like small problems. She told me that CPTSD was something I have. Also, that I am by definition a Highly Sensitive Person. This is an actual real thing, and it is just as it sounds.

It was the first time, hearing all of this, in my ENTIRE life I felt someone saw me clearly.

She was trained by Peter Levine, a world renowned trauma expert, trained in the mode of Somatic Experiencing, in layman’s terms, getting trauma physically out of the body with release in a very specific way. She encouraged my tears, she encouraged the full body, or localized, sensations that would arise in my being as a result of discussing painful past events. She never blinked twice about the worst pain of my life, she encouraged me in ways to process it healthily.

She knows my fears, she knows my successes, she knows my failures. None of that even made her skip a beat. This was new to me. In my previous experience those negative past traumas were a sort of curiosity, and talk therapy they wanted me to engage in often left me drained, reliving these things without any effective means to really work through them and let them go.

She taught me that it isn’t my fault, but that I could do something about it. That was… everything.

Sometimes we spent entire sessions with me curled in the fetal position, literally wailing with sobs so deep it felt like my soul was falling out of me, and I thought I could not take now much it hurt to let this occur. Sometimes, we’d talk about life, presently, and all the ways I’m showing up backwards, with anger and hostility instead of self-acceptance and forgiveness. She and I found a rhythm where I eventually stopped dreading “therapy” but looked to her as an elder, much wiser and smarter than I was, and I ate up every piece of wisdom she could speak.

Sometimes, just hearing her say, “honey, you’re good enough. You are loved”, was all I needed that session, and from that sprung a renewed sense in my own soul that, maybe I’m not just this broken woman whom nobody loves. Maybe, there’s a reason it’s been so hard.

Nobody could show me that before, because nobody understood me the way she did. The acceptance and love she offered was free (the hour was expensive, but worth it for the gift of being truly seen as I was. No matter how I showed up that day).

Now, as I contemplate so much…

So much is changing, and I have the hardest moments of my life ahead, and trust me, for me that’s saying enough. If you knew the history of my life, you’d believe the hardest days are behind me, but now I see that’s just not the case.

Right now, I am forced into a hole, a hole I sort of dug for myself, but also, one I was thrown into against my will. I’ve seen enough in this life to know that happens.

I had warnings, but they were often at the behest of someone whose own life was a lie, and his demands were so focused on me that I really did believe the only reason our marriage would fail is because I wasn’t doing enough to stop my own sins. I believed, he is better than me, deserves more than this. It took a toll, and served an adverse reaction to his goal; believing I’m so easy to leave, so hard to love, made changing almost impossible.

For the last several years, I’ve felt inferior to my partner. With no career, two failed marriages, and lacking the inner drive to change these parts about myself I knew I needed to change, I began to really push him away. I would say things like, “why did you marry me?” “Don’t you know you could have chosen better?” These questions were my attempt to save myself the agony of being right, by convincing myself in the end he was always meant for more than… Me.

Now, now I know a completely different script. I know now, that all the while he was demanding I change. Try harder. Do more. He himself was not being the man he swore he would be, in ways I won’t go into here, but the thing about it that was so hard to accept is, I never could know for sure. Because he hid it so well. While he claimed my behavior was destroying us, damaging our children, driving him away, he was – literally and in every way – living two completely different lives. But he used that to his advantage, in a way, making me the villain is easy when I had no way to be sure that my intuition was right – he was not who he said he’d be. Quite the opposite, in fact, for many times he’d argue he’s doing all he can to save us. He wasn’t, and I only know that now, much too late, and with a kind of pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone, even those I loathe the most.

My point is, what do I do now, and where is the goodness in all of this, really? If my beautiful Savior works all things together and makes good of the hardest pain, then what am I to make of this situation, now?

Is there hope?

My Mentor would say there is. And so would my God. So now is where the rubber meets the road. It is where I decide, despite what he ends up doing or not doing, whether I want to be a victim to my circumstances, my pain, my past, for the rest of my life – and carry this in to some other relationship (many years down the road), or, do I want to own my shit, and get down to the basics of taking responsibility for how I’ve been, regardless of what happens next in my marriage and with my life.

My partner is gone, and I believe we’re so close to the end now, I can touch it if I tried to. I could even guess a date and might be very close to accurate.

Does that mean I stop trying to better myself. That I believe what I’ve felt of myself, before I got real help from someone who loves me (thank you, Niyaso). Does that mean I give up. No question marks, because they aren’t questions, they are potential paths, and nobody but me is responsible for which one I take.

I could hold my head high. Get my ducks in order. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and do all I can to make myself resilient, even the in the face of losing everything, all over again.

When the world falls apart, when things become so hard. When you can’t sleep (I haven’t slept a full night, not even close, in three days). When it hurts to breathe. When you lie awake at night reliving all your mistakes and hating theirs, when the blame comes, when the shame comes.

What will you do?

My answer won’t come with words now. I’ve already said all this before.

This times, it’s more than that. Because I know I am worth more than that.

I am God’s child, I am here for a purpose, and that purpose is so much bigger than being a victim, no matter how hard it is to keep rising when right now it would be so easy, and justified, to completely fall apart.

Please, I welcome your thoughts, perspective, and new ideas on anything I have written here!

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