A Reservoir of Left-Over Feelings

I once felt I was an object walking around, keenly disguised as a human. A thin veneer of skin covering the hurt, pain, and sorrow that lay underneath. Now I know that I am a whole person who was objectified.

I love this feeling, this knowledge, this acceptance. It took me nine long years to get to this point and I make sure I acknowledge my hard work.  It’s a hard-earned, middle finger to my perpetrators that they couldn’t take my humanity, my person-ness from me.  Where I once had no memory of a past, I now have a congruent, truthful timeline and, even though it’s an awful truth,  it’s mine, it’s my past, and for me, it’s much better than living with blinders on. 

However, learning to live with my past has left me with a large reservoir of left-over feelings. It’s been very gratifying to have worked through all the memories and the feeling/emotions associated with the memories, but I found that there are feelings associated with living with the truth of my trauma. The feelings that can occasionally bubble up at different times are anxiety, depression, desperation, fear, numb, violated, insignificant, grief, alone, unloved, neglected, shock, pain, confusion, anger, afraid, dirty, sadness, rejected, confusion, disgust, small, loneliness, ugly, abandoned, disappointed, hopeless, betrayed.

The feelings can be more prevalent some days, especially when I get triggered and have flashbacks or the anniversary times of the year. They are there, even though I have dealt with and processed the memories. I have dealt with the traumas but these feeling are byproducts of the abuse. The feelings don’t just leave because I have talked about them, written, used art, or emoted over them. It’s okay, I have learned that feelings are time-limited and are like sets of waves, and I have learned to ride them like an expert surfer.

I  also feel lots of love, hope, happiness, contentment, support, and trust, and for that, I am grateful. It makes me smile.

I used to tell myself that if I could take a strainer and scoop out the byproduct of my past I would.  I thought scooping them away meant more room happiness, contentment, hope, and love.  Those feelings are what drives my desire to live. But then I realized that it’s important to have and feel those left over feelings. I wasn’t able to experience them the first four decades of my life. They were repressed, never to be taken out. Now I know that it is a very important part of my healing process, and they cannot be talked, or drawn away. They have to be felt.

I no longer expect that I won’t have feelings about what happened in my life. I’m much more whole, living without the denial of my past. I continue to accept that sometimes the reservoir will get stirred up and wavy, while also remembering to rest and enjoy the calm waters when the waves are still, and peaceful. I will let the byproduct of my past continue to come to the surface, knowing that eventually that feeling will spill over and float away, taken by the currents. Yet I stay firmly grounded, living with blinders off, owning my past, my truth, flying free of the silence that held me hostage. 

image source: Pixabay

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph


26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. manyofus1980
    Sep 16, 2017 @ 07:29:13

    bravo alexis! Own it. I am glad you have gotten to a place of acceptance. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alexis Rose
    Sep 03, 2017 @ 14:15:02

    Wow, thank You! Your words really made a difference in my morning…turned it around completely. Have a wonderful rest of your weekend 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kalifornicationx.wordpress.com
    Sep 03, 2017 @ 08:25:40

    Alexis, it’s blog entries like this which makes it entirely easy for me to spend at least half the day just sitting and reading through the experiences of others. I’m rather fond of these entries, and as with prior entries of yours the one above is incredibly interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alexis Rose
    Sep 01, 2017 @ 14:08:10

    Thank You A. That means a lot that you’ve resonated with what I wrote. I love when we can connect from shared experiences, that otherwise can leave us feeling alone and isolated. I know for me whenever I hear someone feels (or has felt) that same way, I exhale a huge a relief! Have a wonderful weekend! ❤️ Alexis


  5. Rebel Recovery
    Sep 01, 2017 @ 01:57:31

    I’m so glad I read this. Your first paragraph really blew me away as it speaks to some of my own experience. The whole post really spoke to me and I needed to read it today. Fighting against the ‘bad’ memories and feelings — the reservoir — gets me in trouble every time. Perhaps this dissociation is a habit as much as anything. And habits can be changed…..
    Your post ends on a note of hard won victory. I’m so happy for you, it’s visceral: I feel a swelling in my chest. I’m celebrating with you….
    Such fine writing too. Thank you for the hope. Sending warmth. A.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alexis Rose
    Aug 30, 2017 @ 02:12:35



  7. smilecalm
    Aug 30, 2017 @ 01:15:41

    sounds wonderful
    to have
    that feeling
    of transformation 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Alexis Rose
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 17:36:27

    Thanks K E 😊❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. K E Garland
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 16:04:17

    I love the image of taking a strainer to “scoop out the byproduct of my past.” That’s pretty accurate.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Blue Sky
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 13:56:43

    Yes! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Alexis Rose
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 13:14:33

    Thank You my friend! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Alexis Rose
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 13:14:06

    Thank You!


  13. Alexis Rose
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 13:13:10

    🏄‍♀️🏄‍♀️ surfing together through this healing journey. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  14. rabbitpatchdiary.com
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 09:22:52

    beautiful truth-you have made such progress in your journey.-surely it is a freedom of sorts. Godspeed

    Liked by 1 person

  15. taurusingemini
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 07:24:25

    The process you’d described, is you, becoming whole again, owning ALL parts of you, the good, the bad, as well as everything that’s already past, and, all of your collective past moments is what made you into who you are, don’t ever forget that!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Blue Sky
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 03:11:32

    I think the concept of healing and what that looks like is so very misunderstood by so many. I think there are many things that will continue to trigger us. I don’t know if they ever fully go away, especially for a lifetime of complex trauma. This was beautiful. I think we do learn how to deal better with them. Seeing myself as a surfer… at this point, learning to surf and ride the waves of trauma is a nice image… and so accurate. We are surfers! ❤ Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Alexis Rose
    Aug 28, 2017 @ 20:46:06

    Thank you for reblogging this this, Kat and for sharing your experience too! ❤️


  18. PatchworkKat
    Aug 28, 2017 @ 20:02:23

    Reblogged this on The Patchwork Diaries and commented:
    I’ve been dealing with this same phenomenon lately. The reservoir of feelings is deep, despite my best efforts to move forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Alexis Rose
    Aug 28, 2017 @ 18:13:30

    Wow, thanks Tamara. I really appreciate that feedback. I hope you are well! 😁


  20. Tamara Kulish
    Aug 28, 2017 @ 15:24:15

    I’m happy to hear that you’ve reached the point you have. You’ve cleared up a lot of misconceptions for many people. It’s easy to yearn to move past all the nasty feelings but you nailed it, telling us it’s necessary! Tough to hear, but oh so necessary!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Alexis Rose
    Aug 28, 2017 @ 15:01:12

    I think you’re right and they will ease up after time.


  22. Breaking the Cycle
    Aug 28, 2017 @ 15:00:12

    It would be really nice if they did magically just go away!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Alexis Rose
    Aug 28, 2017 @ 14:57:45

    Thank You for sharing your experience with me. It helps to know that Im not the only one who has them and that the feelings don’t magically go away. ❤️


  24. Breaking the Cycle
    Aug 28, 2017 @ 14:50:32

    I have a few by-products too from trauma, hopefully as time goes on, it will lessen for the both of us! All the best X

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Alexis Rose
    Aug 28, 2017 @ 14:17:23

    Thank You, Jean Marie. 😊


  26. Jean Marie Johnson
    Aug 28, 2017 @ 14:02:02

    POWERFUL, AFFIRMING COMMENTS for yourself….and for others!

    Liked by 1 person

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