Trigger Warning: This post is all about triggers. Triggers are different for everyone. You never know when they are going to show up. I am sharing in hopes of helping others.
As I am standing in the shower, I feel someone behind me then he touches me. My heart is racing. I can’t breath. I turn around and it’s my X. He takes me by the back of the head and rapes me. Wait, this is not real, I am asleep. I wake up in a cold sweat.
I can’t see the picture, but my X is straddling me with his hands around my throat. I can’t breath. I can’t move, and I can’t wake up. Another night, another nightmare.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and as I am focusing on bringing awareness it may also be triggering these nightmares. I have been out of my abusive marriage for over 18 years and I never know what will trigger the nightmares. Sometimes it is the smell of the cologne he wore, hearing a similar voice as my X, and/or a song we listened to together. Sometimes it is an immediate trigger were my heart starts racing and my anxiety is peaked, but other times it shows up as a nightmare.
The side effect from Domestic Violence are as different for each person who experiences it as the abuse itself. Each person can experience nightmares, depression, anxiety, self loathing, and/or self harm. For each person Domestic Violence encounters are different and may include isolation, emotional, verbal, physical, sexual, financial, or all of the above components. It’s heartbreaking how many never report abuse. There are too many people living like they have done something wrong, that they need to fix things and/or they deserve what they are going through. Others don’t even realize that there is anything wrong with the way they are being treated. They are so busy trying to keep their partner happy that they don’t take care of themselves. These patterns can continue on long after the abuse has stopped.
As I am writing this, I realized I have created the perfect storm for myself. I have not been taking care of myself and self-care may be needed. I am running on fumes; waking up early and going to bed late. Due to lack of sleep, I don’t have energy to exercise. I have been eating more junk food than normal.
I know that I can’t properly care for my family if I am not taking care of myself first. I know I am not alone in the caregiver pattern. I love serving others and making them feel special. I am also passionate about helping others find hope, health, and healing. I think it is very common for abuse survivors, natural caregivers, and woman, to put everyone else first. I know it is a pattern I often repeat if I am not consciously taking care of myself first.
This blog has been very therapeutic. I know that my physical and mental health are connected. It’s time for me to recommit to eating healthy, getting proper sleep and nutrition, physical exercise, mediation, prayer, using essential oils to support my emotions, taking time for myself. I hope that each of you take time to care for yourself as well.
Everyone has his or her own journey. We each have our own triggers and interpretations of life. My intent is to add in the healing process not cause anxiety or pain. Our experience may be similar but they are each unique. Even though many people could have been at the same event each person experiences and remembers those events through our own eyes and will recall the event differently. My blogs will be from my perspective of my life. I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend. I am not a Doctor, Counselor or Therapist. I believe it is important to work with Doctors, Counselors and Therapist along with Essential Oils, Energy Healing and spirituality to find health, healing and balance.