Life is a never ending roller coaster of WTF?s and OH SHIT!s and Ah Hah!s
I’d like to say right now is an Ah Hah! time for me, but I ate my words last time I got to that point. No, no, that’s not exactly right. Because, as I’ve said before, I’m a hypocrite, but not really.
I’m allowed to change and grow and not feel guilty for not feeling or thinking the same way right now as I did yesterday. Or a week ago, or a year ago.
In fact, I’m rather glad I’m not who I was 5 years ago. Or 10 years ago, or 15 or 20 years ago!
No, no wait, that’s not exactly true. I am STILL the same person. My core values are still the same. This hasn’t been a major flip flop. I’ve always sought out truth.
I remember at some point during high school, I came across this Socrates quote:
I was like, this Socrates dude is awesome. To this day, this is still my favorite quote. I don’t know shit. But I can still learn. And I do, every day.
So, what did I finally figure out that motivated me to write this blog today?
I figured out that I’m okay. I’m fine. I really am.
That may not seem like much, but it’s a huge deal. You see, I’ve got this nasty voice in my head that’s constantly telling me that I’m not good enough. That there is something wrong with me. That other people have their shit together more than I do and deserve more respect than me. That how other people behave is the RIGHT way and how I behave is wrong.
But the thing is, that voice in my head is a big fat liar. Sometimes I forget that it’s a liar. Especially when I have people in my life who sound an awful lot like that liar in my head. And then, that nasty, hateful voice gets louder. Luckily I have some friends who are willing to help me out, who are on a good path and share with me some really helpful insights and tools.
A friend of mine, Sienna Saint-Cyr kept telling me that it seemed like I had Complex PTSD. Well, it didn’t start there. She told me about her Complex PTSD, and has been explaining how she deals with it and the many steps she’s taken to over come her issues. Then Chy Clayton at Rustycon also said that she found that many people who self-diagnose as having Aspergers are actually suffering from Complex PTSD.
This all started to make more and more sense to me. Sienna kept telling me how she related to a lot of my personal issues that I just assume are related to the fact that I struggle with undiagnosed Autism Spectrum. And to be honest, I thought it was impossible for someone like me to have Complex PTSD.
I have a good family. I wasn’t physically abused. There’s nothing really wrong with me. My relationship with my husband was bad at points, but we’re good now.
Finally, she sent me this link to Pete Walker’s site, specifically to read the information about the four flight or flight responses: Fight, Flight, Freeze and Fawn. I started reading and so much began to make sense.
The thing is, though, even though my childhood was normal enough, it still created some very unhealthy ways of thinking. I react with a freeze and flight response in a lot of situations. Sure, I fawn sometimes, and also fight occasionally, but usually, I freeze. I fake my way through the situation, and then I run.
My tendency to avoid and withdraw from people can make life difficult. Realizing what I’m doing, though, has helped a great deal, though. I love that moment of clarity when I react and I’m able to think “OH! I know what’s going on here!”
Reading through the list of trigger responses also helped me to realize why other people respond to certain situations. I’m usually able to figure people out decently well, but the finer skills of navigating a close relationship, that’s still tough for me.
It’s often perplexed and bothered me why there are some people who react to me with anger, aggression and hostility. It is very rarely that in these situations I have done something with the intent of causing harm. I’m a pretty passive person. I don’t like to make waves, even though I do tend to stick my foot in my mouth. It’s not done with ill intent.
So, I like to assume that people who know me fairly well understand that no matter how stupid or insensitive something I say might be, it was not done out of anger or with the hope of causing harm. I also make the mistake of assuming other people think like I do. Until, of course, I’m forced to deal with a hostile person. Over and over and over again.
Most the time, my gut reaction is to get the hell out. Avoid them, run. But that’s not always an option. And after reading that article about the fight response, it makes so much more sense why I can never reconcile with some of these hostile and difficult people, no matter how often or how hard I try.
Because the problem lies with them. Something about me bothers them. They want me to change to suit them, and I just can’t. Because the problem is them and their reaction to me.
There is nothing wrong with me. I know I’m the best person I know how to be. And I keep striving to learn and be better.
And so, I’ll say it again. I’m okay. I’m just fine. And I’m not just faking my way through it this time.
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