Trauma. I promise this blog isn’t going to always be doom and gloom, but I enjoy digging deep and finding the more difficult topics to talk about. It’s therapy for me, it helps you to understand me, and I hope some of what I say may resonate with at least one other person and help them along the way.

When a person experiences trauma in their lives they usually go forward in one of two ways; as a person who strives to do the total opposite of what has happened to them, or they go on to replicate the same behaviour. The school bully was likely bullied in previous years, the sexual abuser was often the sexually abused as a child. This of course isn’t okay, and it certainly isn’t an excuse, but it is a reason why their behaviour is as it is. We are all shaped by our past and the more traumatic the past experience is, more prominently shaped we become. The more we give, the more we are taken from, and the higher our walls will go. We begin to feel like everyone will use, betray or abandon us and so we start to do the job for them. It’s self-perpetuating; we push them away so they leave thus proving our point that everyone always leaves.

I’m not the person who pushes people away; I am the one who tries to fix this type of broken person. I am the one who gives and gives until I have nothing left to give myself. I try and climb the walls that people might put up against me in order to prove that I’m not going to be the one that leaves them. Ultimately it ends in the same spiral of disaster where I’m being pushed away, so I try to get closer, which leaves them feeling like they want to push me again which makes me try and find a different way in. No one wins these battles. We both get left feeling unsatisfied and like our feelings aren’t being heard or respected. But what if things were different? What if we all addressed why we are the way we are? If you didn’t have walls so high, because so many people have induced in you a learnt behaviour to assume that everyone will leave, then would I feel the need to push myself closer to you? If your walls weren’t there perhaps you would accept my love for the beautiful thing that it is intended to be. I don’t know why my trauma response is to keep giving; why aren’t my walls going up? Is this the same cycle in reverse? Do I continuously give, knowing I will be eventually pushed away, proving to myself that I don’t deserve love back?

I’ve always been a ‘giver’ in love. If I love someone; a friend, a partner or family, then I will literally do anything I possibly can to help them. In fact, I don’t even have to love them to start giving them pieces of me. I seem to attract vulnerable people. People seem to be able to open up to me and I can’t help but want to help. In the past, I haven’t set boundaries because my self-worth was so low. I didn’t respect myself enough, or feel worthy enough to leave anything in my tank for me; I just gave it all away; after-all, I didn’t deserve it did I?

The understanding I now FINALLY have of myself, is that I was betrayed, bullied and abused by the man who stood at the alter and promised to love and support me forever; the one who promised to be with me ‘until death us do part’. The words told to me over and over again were that I was fat, I was ugly, that no one would want me, that I’m not fit to be a mother and I’m a terrible wife. Those words stick. I think I give and I give to prove to myself that I’m not the monster I was painted to be in his story. I keep giving even when you push me away, not only for myself, but also because I see the contrary trauma in you. I see someone who needs the same as me, in terms of realising we are worthy of all things good, but who’s trauma is being expressed by the inability to be vulnerable, the inability to hope and the inability to trust in another. I want to fix you.

It has taken me a long time to realise that I can’t fix another person’s trauma response, the only person who can fix anyone’s trauma response is themselves. Once that trauma is dealt with then we can form healthy relationships with self-respecting boundaries and knowledge of our worth. Knowing our own worth allows us to be loved by others, and teaches them how we want and accept to be treated. Suddenly the vicious circle of pushing and pulling between one another actually becomes a circle of consistent value added to enrich each other’s lives. If you first heal your own traumas, then you no longer need to fix another’s. We are ALL worthy of love and support and true adoration.



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