Whether it’s Daisy’s or Weeds it’s Still Your Life

There is a common expression that explains what it’s like to live with PTSD.  “PTSD: It’s not the person refusing to let go of the past, but the past refusing to let go of the person.”

One of the questions that people often ask is, “Are you sure you want to remember your past?” Or a common statement is, “Just let the past go.” Both of these are said and/or asked without malice.  I understand both the question and the statement. Most trauma survivors understand the intention behind these statements. They are meant to protect the person from suffering and bad memories which can be re-traumatizing. Also to remind survivors that it is okay to live in the present moment.

Going through trauma therapy, we work very hard to understand our symptoms so we can live in the present. We often have safety plans, distress tolerance tools, and grounding techniques that bring us back to the here-and-now. We learn to hear the birds singing, children playing, feel our feet on the ground, and though we may not feel safe, we begin to understand that we are safe, and no one can hurt us (like that) again.

We are empowered by the fact that we are survivors and celebrate resilience. And yet, with all that knowledge, and practice, and bringing ourselves back to the present moment, PTSD has skeleton hands that grab you and pull you into the past. It is the nature of the illness.

When I’m asked, “Are you sure you want to remember your past?” I say to myself, and sometimes to the person (depending on my mood), “How would you feel if you had big swatches of your life missing?” I’m not talking about little memories of places, or people that come and go, I’m talking sometimes years and years, blacked out. Imagine the feeling of knowing that you are alive because you are here, but you have no real congruent memories to make sense of yourself, your wholeness as a person. And, often when you do have flashes of the past, your emotions,  feelings, and a very protective mind stop you from remembering.

My mind wouldn’t let me repress my memories any longer. I knew intuitively that I needed to know my past. I needed a timeline of my life. I didn’t want darkness any longer. I wanted to live, not just survive.  I understood the truth would be painful. Traumatic memories are painful. But for me, in order to get some control over some of my most severe symptoms (flashbacks, fear, anxiety, hypervigilance, helplessness, and hopelessness) I needed to uncover my past, my truth.

It was hard, excruciatingly painful at times, but worth it! I still have symptoms, but now I can name them. I understand where they come from, and why they are happening and I can use the tools I have to cope and move through the waves. Sometimes, it’s easier than other times.

What I have now is awareness. That awareness makes it easier for me to stay in the present.  I don’t live in the past, but just like everyone else, I am partly who I am because of my past experiences. What I choose to do with that information is up to me.

I maintain that now, I live in the present because I know my truth. Before, I was too busy both consciously and unconsciously trying to bury, forget, and believe that I wasn’t worthy enough to have a lived life, whatever it looked like.

So when people care, and with love and affection innocently ask, “Are You sure you want to remember your past?” I can say back, with equal love and affection, “Yes, I do want to remember, because, Whether it Daisy’s or Weeds it’s still my life.”

 

Thank you for reading my latest book, If I Could Tell You How It Feels, available in both ebook and paperback from Amazon.

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37 thoughts on “Whether it’s Daisy’s or Weeds it’s Still Your Life

  1. Yay. Thank you for participating. It is no rush. I just appreciat4e you helping the cause. I look forward to reading and sharing your story. I post one a day for now… Just let me know when you are done. . Remember it is not a rush. Finish when you can. Hugs, Sue

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely post. I like that daisies or weeds. Beautiful. I was wondering and hoping you would be interested in sharing your story to include as part of my mental health campaign to increase awareness and end stigma. I would really like to read your story and know it would be a fabulous addition to my feature. Here is a link that explains it – https://myloudbipolarwhispers.com/2018/05/01/i-need-you-please-help-me-with-my-new-project-our-story-is-our-glory/  You don’t have to participate, if you are not comfortable or too busy etc. No pressure and no rush. Your story can be one you wrote before or as long or short as you would like. Thank you and have a fabulous day. Much love and hugs, Sue

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  3. I know, patience, right?! That was the hardest! I wanted it to be fast (er) and I wanted the process to be linear. Neither of was those were true for me. I had to learn over and over to trust the process. Hang in there! Sending hugs 🙂

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  4. Thanks for sharing this! I am at the point of needing to know about the black spots in my past, but also trying to be patient with the process of getting there. Bleh 😀

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  5. Pingback: REBLOG by Alexis Rose: Whether it’s Daisy’s or Weeds it’s Still Your Life | NOT MY SECRET…the journey towards healing from abuse

  6. This post got me thinking. Forgive me if I just blather here for a second. There’s nothing wrong with remembering our past, but often trauma will give us falsehoods instead of truths to believe about it and ourselves. It’s the unbeneficial things that we attribute to the past and ourselves that are harmful.

    I remember trying to forget the past when I was younger. Then I accepted it because that is what has made me who I am today. I’m actually better off for it, even stronger than most. But the key was simply trading in the lies that I used to tell myself about all those awful incidents and about myself as a person and replacing them with truth.

    Truth is, an awful past approached in a truthful present makes us stronger.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow! Thank you for such kind, encouraging words! Your blogs touch me deeply as well. It’s scary, sharing my words and thoughts with others. I hesitate every time before I push the publish button. All I can do is speak my truth and share what I have learned along the way. Thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom!

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  8. Thank You!! I was just on my reader and saw you reblogged this. I cant even begin to tell you how your words touch me. You are working tirelessly not only to heal yourself, but to share with others. You are one remarkable person!! ❤️

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  9. Your words deeply resonate with me.I have years of my life hidden in the shadows, with only a few memories coming to the surface. I remember the most traumatic experiences in vivid detail, but many of the more mundane events are for some reason out of reach.I choose to not live in the past, but I know that my past made me who I am today. Revisiting my past helps me cherish the life I have now. It puts things in perspective. I’ve found that in order to deal with my PTSD issues, I need to understand and accept their source. Thanks for sharing this. I am reblogging it for my readers, as I think many people will relate to your words and the wisdom of them.

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  10. Oh wow, thats huge news and very stressful. I will be sending good love and support all month, the day you have to testify and then after its over. I hope whatever it is, there is justice and some resolution after going to court. 💞

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post! I was notified Friday that the cause of my PTSD will be in Federal Court next month and I will be testifying. I think I’ll probably go back to therapy for the next few months just to make sure I don’t do a full meltdown.

    Liked by 2 people

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