This is a forever lament for those in the healing process. Why didn’t I get counseling years ago? Why didn’t I get away from that abuser years ago? Why? Why? Why?
I found a quote that I believe encapsulates why.
“At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done–then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett quotes http://www.logicalquotes.com/frances-hodgson-burnett-quotes/
I actually did research on my own response to PTSD and realized, if I had looked for counseling years ago, how I would be treated was brutal. Counseling changed over the years. Different philosophies and perspectives altered how people with PTSD are treated. Once considered weak and deranged now more people recognize that PTSD is the ultimate survival tool that outlived its purpose. Hyper-alert and hair-trigger reactions are beneficial in extreme conditions but less helpful living mundane day-to-day activities. When I did start counseling, I was in awe about the different ways people handle situations. More than once I would ask my counselor, “Do you mean people actually behave like that?” To give you an example, I was in a group working towards healing as an activity they were demonstrating learning to listen. They blindfolded me then put obstacles in my way for me to by pass by me listening to someone tell me how to walk around the obstacles. It was a disaster.
A. I didn’t realize how deaf I was and didn’t have hearing aides yet.
B. I am blitz out of my mind with anxiety when I am blindfolded
C. The chairs were hard enough then one of the group leaders stood in my way yakking so I couldn’t hear the person telling me how to move.
Results. I grabbed the person yammering at me and physically moved her out of the way….not to easily either. My actions let her know I meant serious business. When I complained to my counselor about the whole mess, he asked me, “Why didn’t you take off the blindfold?” I stared at him. It took me a week to come up with an answer.
I following week I said,”I would no more think of taking off that blindfold than you would think of stripping naked right now and running 3 miles.”
He saw my point. “You are right, I wouldn’t think of doing that.”
Sometimes I don’t do things years ago simply because I didn’t think of them years ago.
Another example was from a story I got in the email. I teenager was mowing the lawn for his grandparents. There was annoying rock in the middle that he had to mow around. One day in frustration he decided to dig out the monster rock. When he started to pry it, the rock popped out of the grass. The rock was much smaller than it appeared on the surface. All this time of mowing around the rock could have been saved if he moved the rock. Sometimes the problems I am wrestling with appear really big but when I actually tackle the problem it is easier than I thought.
Sometimes I am not ready to do what needs to be done. I’m tired. That’s it, just tired.
2 thoughts on “Why didn’t I do this years ago?”
I used to say this a lot to my therapist. “Why didn’t I do this ages ago?” But I realize now that when I was raising my sons, I had to protect my mental health and energy so I could care for them. It was not long after they left home that I opened up my past history of sexual abuse in therapy. I finally had time and energy to focus on myself. I think there are a lot of reasons why things don’t happen earlier. We are ready when we are ready.
I say similar things too. The main thing to remember is that your doing it now, and, its never too late. xx