It’s no big deal.  I can handle it.  It’s not that bad.  I just shove it away and pretend it never happened.  I get on with my life.

Those are some of the words I have repeated to myself and to others through the years.  It’s been my response to what has happened.  Smacked upside the head with a gun while being raped – ‘no biggie, it could have been worse.’  Sexually abused at the age of 5 – ‘I can handle it’…I close my eyes and pretend it’s not happening.    Father leaves the country when I am 13 – ‘ At least my mom’s around’.   Three family members commit suicide – I squish down the pain of loss and pretend it never happened.  Two failed marriages….drug addiction…..self destructive behaviours….loss of feeling…disconnection from self…disconnected from life.

I’ve spent my life minimizing what has transpired in my life.   I refuse to wallow in self pity.  I refuse to spend time in the pain of loss.  I choose instead to focus my attention to the beautiful and good things that life brings.  Okay.  That’s good BUT I have learned that I need to face what has happened in order to heal.   When I do not face them they sneak back and haunt me.  An unrelated event will trigger a memory.  An emotional response that is disproportionate to the event.  A  ‘friend’ makes a decision to no longer have me in her life and it sends me back to being 5 years old.  I grieve and beat myself up over it for weeks on end.

Starting today I am going to be honest with myself about what happened.  I am going to revisit significant trauma and acknowledge that it happened.  I am going to allow myself to grieve.

Minimizing what happened does not heal.  It is a coping mechanism.  I choose to heal.  I choose to  thrive.  I choose to do more than simply cope.


2 thoughts on “Minimizing

  1. Dan Hays says:

    I can so relate to minimizing the horrible things that happen! My Dad tried to kill me – minimize! I have many similar experiences, and well understand how my mind has protected me for so long by minimizing what happened. When I was finally diagnosed with PTSD both severe and chronic, it helped me anchor to the truth – yes, it was that bad!

    The things you recount in this post are devastating and horrible! Understandable that you could minimize them!

    But courageous of you confront, and for choosing to heal and thrive!

    Amazing post – thank you for sharing it!

  2. alex vorobej says:

    Being able to tackle things head on without feeling the need to be destructive to one’s self or others, is a huge step in the healing process. Events from the past, are terrible, but they are all a part of a survivor’s legacy.

    Turning towards the emotional impact and being able to understand all by looking at how your life has been affected…(note I did not say destroyed or damaged) is important when learning how to interact with a new vision of your life. Even though horrible things have happened, it is how you deal with them that can help rebuild a troubled life.

    True survivors use everything they have experienced and find strength in knowing that they can build upon all experiences, not just the happy ones.. Minimizing or ignoring painful memories leave out pieces of the puzzle that we call life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: