First off, I want to state that none of my blog posts are written to intentionally hurt people. Perhaps, if you didn’t want to be written about within my healing process, you should have been kind. That said, this experience and every other experience has been primarily about self growth. I could write a whole lot more about the hurt received in the past, but it serves no purpose as I coast through life and learn the lessons I need to.
My therapist and I have discussed many things about me as of late. One being self sabotage. I see it happening, but it’s the lack of understanding to make myself a better human to myself. I find myself analyzing certain things that have happened and piece together a picture where i’m asking myself whether it’s just me.
This changing to be a better human and creating boundaries is one heck of a mind fuck. When you’re not used to creating boundaries, but you start doing it, people will classify you as selfish, narcissistic, and mean. When creating boundaries, from self destructive people like addicts, you will 100% receive this type of gaslighting. Gaslighting is geared to questioning everything, because the fault always falls on you.
Living in Fight Mode
I had an ah-ha moment last night. I spent the whole night on an excel spreadsheet analyzing when the end of the relationship was happening. Between texts and my blog stats, I calculated that it was December 20th when the new one walked in with certainty and I was given up on. December 18th, it was “I want you. I love what we had. What we did together.” Two days later, “Have a good life Trina.” However, I truly believe both people were being played for a long time. I know him. He’s a wonderful man with a big heart, but he just can’t leave his first love, which is his addiction. He did this to me with another person when we first met. They often say “The red flags you saw in the beginning, are the red flags that will end the relationship” I believe it now.
This analysis was such a STUPID thing to do because it keeps me locked in if you will. Fucking psychotic of me, right? Yep, it is but it’s also very normal. It’s called a trauma response.
I learned about the body’s trauma responses when I was dealing with initial trauma over 5 years ago. During that time, I was on a roller coaster ride from fight response to freeze response. I have come to realize that I’ve been in fight response since then and even more so after the passing of my Mother. When I stopped drinking, I feel I’ve been waffling through fight and flight to avoid being hurt. Therefore, the “wall of Trina” only grew higher. Some of my fight responses are healthy, while others have been dangerous to my health and well being.
Some people’s responses are worse than others. Mine tend to go into overdrive when something doesn’t add up. Why do I punish myself to find answers? This is why it happens. It’s a trauma response when the body feels in danger. It’s really not in danger though. You see I had hope that we could meet in the middle. The problem was the initial response I had was freeze when I was in “hope” mode that we could salvage this relationship. Then, now that all is said and done, I’m in “fight”.
For example, the other day I went to pick up something at a friend’s house. I noticed that there was a strange vehicle in the driveway. My heart sank, and I immediately felt the fight response arising. Being one that can’t hold themselves back, I texted. Once I realized how dumb that was, I wrote back and stated that, it was in fact dumb of me. I have come to realize that my response to any type of rejection or finality is feeling loss of control and the inability to let go. It is then where I basically self sabotage. I am also minimizing everything I stood up for to save myself, and the relationship, in the first place. So realistically, I am hurting myself deeply and painfully. A song that clearly explains how the mind acts in fight or flight response is this Matchbox 20 song.
I truly want to learn how to control my trauma responses in the future. Here are some suggestions I’m going to try the next time I experience my fight response.
- Meditation. Relaxing the body allows it to see that it’s safe and their is nothing to worry about.
- Walking or exercise. Being with nature and present assists in informing the body in knowing that it’s safe.
- Use cognitive behavioural approaches and be mindful and kind to myself. In my case, reframing the narrative so my body knows that it is not in any physical danger. For example, the car is there. It’s a breakup and it happens. The breakup exacerbated the previous traumas of divorce, loss of my parents and events leading up to the breakup. Your body is safe and you are not in any danger. There will be better days to come and this is natural. You deserve more. You deserve a person who is willing to go the miles that it takes to maintain and curate a healthy relationship.
- Put the past where it needs to be. Acknowledge that your parent’s are gone, answers will never be given from your past relationship, smear campaigns are vile but you survived them, a man chose another lifestyle over you. Acknowledge that It’s all in the past and you survived it all. You are safe! Your body and mind are safe from the past.
- Live a sober or a normal lifestyle. Feel every fucking ounce of pain. Remind yourself, it’s because you loved. Feel every morsel of blood flowing through your veins. If feels cold and runs down your whole body and it makes your head spin. Remind yourself that you invested in love and this is the feeling of heartbreak. DO NOT drown it with alcohol or run to meet someone else to bandage the pain. It serves no purpose. It delays the healing required after a loss. No go. Relax and meditate.
Moving on from Love
I know I made a lot of personal mistakes because of these trauma responses. I feel the first one was ignoring the red flags of addiction. The biggest one was mistreating my daughter after my marital separation.
With much convincing, I loaded up one dating app again (not that horrible Tinder). First line, “If you take photos of yourself on your pillow or you have an addiction that will trump a meaningful relationship, swipe left.”
After some communication with this nice gentleman, he asked for my number. I was hesitant but I texted. I said to myself that while I’m not open to a relationship right now, I have to open my heart to possibilities.
True lasting love can happen when least expected. I have to believe that with all the hardships the past five years, my guts says it won’t be far away.
I just have to get over the predisposed notions of what I’ve been crying about for months now. “Addictions always come first…and I feel like I’ve been rejected twice because of it.” The lyrics to the song “She don’t love you she’s just lonely” really hits home when in a relationship with an addict. It’s about a woman who passes time with someone because she’s lonely and she’ll never love again. I feel the lyrics is a far more different way. For the addict, you’re just another lover and there is more fish in the sea, so why change?
Anyway, I’ve texted back, he wants to meet, I’ve told him that I’m open to it with much caution. He understood. Weirdest thing is that he texted me at 2AM. “I like you a lot.” Scary shit. My friend told me not to over analyze it, but she also acknowledged that I know red flags better than she does now.
EDIT: NO, I am not. When someone texts you and then writes the same thing on Facebook Dating, run. Fucking run.
Although this one feels like love bombing, I have to keep my heart open so it doesn’t it turns to stone. Giving up on future possibilities would be the epitome of self sabotage. My fear is also the desire to create an atmosphere of family. This breakup hit everyone hard. Everyone in my family loved him. Now my daughter refuses to even go and get my wagon.
The Riser by Dierks Bentley. This is me. Always has been, alway will.
“The hard times put the shine into the diamond / I won’t let that keep us in the ground / I’m a riser / I’m a get up off the ground, don’t run and hider / Pushing comes a-shovin’ / Hey I’m a fighter / When darkness comes to town, I’m a lighter / A get out aliver, out of the fire, survivor.”