One of my frustrations in life is I think of a comeback to a snarky comment an hour after the event. I realize and understand that the desire for a pointed return comment is a defense mechanism that needs to be used sparingly. Many times I choose to walk away and simply ignore ignorant people that say dumb stuff.
It is dumb to tell me to just leave the past in the past. I would be delighted but it creeps into my sleep time with horrific nightmares. Day times I can stay busy until I pass out from exhaustion but I feel my past nipping at my heels. Counseling helped me to cut many ties to my past but not all. Putting my past in its place is an ongoing process.
Just get over it. Oh yea…..this was really confusing when I didn’t remember my past and my reaction was get over what? This criticism implies it was a one-time bump in my childhood. I wish. When my counselor mused about why children dissociated so completely, I inquired, “If I am going to go hungry today, and again the next day and the day after that, when does the child feel safe?” Trauma is often not a solitary event. One large trauma might be pointed out but rarely in child abuse is it a solitary event. Forgetting my childhood did not help me to get over it. Remembering and accepting and processing the trauma is teaching me to get on with living. No one would tell the climbers of Mount Everest to just get over it.
Fake it ’til you make it. People….I faked it so long that I thought the fake was the real me. Counseling taught me to be authentic. My authentic self is sad, depressed, grieving, happy, moments of joy, and back to sad, furious, raging, depressing that anger, struggling. Faking what and who I am leaves me grayed out and shut out. Learning to process authentic feelings is essential piece to learning to thrive.
You attract what happens to you…..BS. A 4 year old child does not attract being molested that is pure hog wash. To me, that is a phrase write out of abuser’s almanac on how to blame the victim. It is not my fault that my adult neighbor molested me. That was his choice not mine. He is responsible for his sick and twisted behavior. That is one comment that I am likely to become hostile over….you know that rage thing…..yea.
My all time favorite was told to me years before I was in counseling. I was trying to solve this enormous problem alone without knowing what it was. I spiraled down so far into depression and sleep deprivation that doctors didn’t recognize the symptoms. A lady from church told me that my problems would be solved if I just put my mind to it. You know, Mind over Matter. Well let me tell you after that little pep talk I went right home and tried to put the dishes away. Please understand, I was not washing them. I was taking them out of the dishwasher and putting them away. I finished about half the job, got dizzy, slid down the cupboards and sat on the kitchen floor until my kids got home from school. My son took one look at me and told me to go back to bed. I crawled back to bed. I learned, “If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”