Fairly recently I had a mental health crisis which has set in motion a series of personal revelations. This crisis occurred during a very overdue vacation time. By stopping the busy pace of my life I inadvertently triggered the resurgence of deep trauma. Some years ago I left a long term relationship with a Clinical Narcissist. Afterwards I was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which, over time, eased to anxiety and then eventually, I thought, I had achieved my ‘normal’. Obviously that wasn’t the reality. Rather I have what is termed Complex PTSD which is a slightly different animal to PTSD. It doesn’t just stem from a single trauma but from the impact of long term trauma. My trauma was inflicted both during my dysfunctional marriage but also from ongoing trauma in my childhood. Spending time with this same family during the holiday season was the apex of my recent crisis. I don’t generally go for labels, I have always found labels rather ‘repulsive’; yet labels can help us to normalise and accept situations like the one I find myself in, as well as to realise that we are (I am) not alone.
Unravelling all of this is powerful, cathartic, intimidating, highly emotional and deeply life changing. I turn 40 this year and feel I have only just started truly knowing myself, not hiding, not giving up my all, not keeping myself busy with the needs of everyone else, not fleeing my own feelings, not pretending, not using escapism, not second guessing everything I think & feel, not living in terror of being myself… I believe the core of me is truly genuine just that my interactions with others, in particular my intimate relationships, as well as my relationship with myself, has been deeply flawed. There is a long road of discovery and recovery ahead of me. It is with both terror and feelings of exultance that I have begun this journey.