100 Days of Healing – Day 49

I’m a survivor of an abusive relationship. One that continued far too long. Once my boundaries were trampled, I didn’t know how to reset them. When I tried to, I got more abuse. Once I got free, it was almost four years before I started dating again, and only then very cautiously.

My boyfriend has now twice not followed through on something important he said he would do. The first time wasn’t a big deal, didn’t really bother me and there seemed to be plenty of legitimate reasons for it. This time there wasn’t, and not only did he not honor his commitment to me, he did the opposite. It broke trust, and presented as a continuation of a pattern I am starting to see that I don’t like and that sends a message that I am not valued.

People start to show who they are after 9 months, and I’m seeing that now.

I expressed how I felt and held him accountable, and he blew up. It wasn’t the same abusive language that I’ve experienced before, but it still came across with the same force as if he’d struck me. I was honest and expressed how specific behaviors had caused me hurt, and he responded that my timing was terrible and interfering with what he is doing. When I said I was sorry, his response was, “Doubt that”.

I think I’ve heard enough, and I’m just grateful that this time I know when to leave.

Obtrusive Grief

My experience with PTSD has included a lot of grief, which tends to be delayed in presenting itself for processing. If I’m stressed (most of the time), if I don’t feel safe (a lot of the time) or if I feel like I have to have my performance face on (also most of the time), my ability to grieve trauma isn’t there… until it is. Usually when I have other things to do, or find it inconvenient to have a tear – streaked face.

I had the weekend off. Actually off, as in no working and no grandma. I hiked, I napped, I went to church for the first time in a while, I slept… all supposedly restorative or restful things. So I was annoyed by increasingly severe anxiety this afternoon. I woke up with anxiety, it ramped up through the morning and after a four hour nap I couldn’t even make myself go to the store for some aloe gel for my sunburned shoulders.

I thought it was because I had to be back at grandma’s tonight, and I’m almost at my limit of being able to be pleasant while dealing with her situation. I get treated like a custodial parent, with a lot more worrying and nagging about how much money my family is spending (which, thankfully, we can afford, but she cannot, and she will not let up about it).

Grief hit me hard, and suddenly. I realized I was grieving for the relationship I lost when my forever turned abusive. The fingers my brother lost in an accident. I don’t even know what else… maybe the part of my brain I lost from the car wreck? I couldn’t stop crying.

And when I needed to sit with the grief and cry it out, I had to get in my car and get back to grandma’s for my shift, which has no space to grieve.

My life, interrupted has pushed off so much of what I need to do to heal, and I’m not that surprised it’s starting to bubble out at inconvenient moments. I wish it were easier to schedule, but trauma processing never is.