How Admitting That I was Traumatized Helped Me Heal

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Until I was 21 years old, my mom battled Alcohol Addiction. Mama was what I call I a High Functioning Alcoholic. She went to work everyday, took excellent care of me, maintained a household, and wasn’t drunk all the time. Honestly, I don’t think drinking became a problem for her nor I until I was about 15 years old, until then, she was more of a social and weekend drinker. I believe I have always been aware of liquor and it’s effects on people, I grew up in an environment of individuals who struggled with addiction in one form or another. Thankfully, my grandmother was my buffer, she stood in between me and addiction, she was my protection, and my teacher. I remember her telling me, “you see them{speaking of my family members}, this is what liquor does to you. It is in us to be drunks, don’t you ever play with it.” I don’t remember how old I was when she had this talk with me but I know I was very young, maybe 10; I still hear those words. The ONLY reason I didn’t fall prey to the fate of addiction that is hardwired in my DNA is because of my grandmother. I am the youngest of 3 children, with my brother and sister being a decade plus older than I, so it was just me an mama for the most part. By the time I was up, mobile, and aware of  my world and the people in it, my brother and sister had moved out of the house.

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Every adult has some kind of bruises, from childhood.  For me, as much as my childhood was wonderful, there were things that I faced that has shaped who I am. When I think back to life on The Blvd and I think about my family, I don’t see the bad things or even the traumatic things, I remember the laughs, the love, and my grandma. To be frank, I didn’t know that what was happening in my house was wrong or not normal. We lived well, I was beyond spoiled, well educated, and had a hood knowledge that was unparalleled; I can survive anywhere. However, I was a child of an Alcoholic.
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Am I Traumatized?
 
One of my biggest challenges in therapy has been labeling or identifying events as traumatic. To me, my childhood was everything but traumatic or traumatizing. My sister suddenly dying was traumatic. Mama being diagnosed with Cancer was traumatic. My best friend who was 10 years younger than me, suddenly dying was traumatic. Someone acting out because of drinking was just apart of life, to me it was normal. I remember that first time the word trauma was attached to how I was affected by mama’s drinking and I was offended as hell. I felt like my Psychiatrist was judging my mama and trying to put a label on me that was highly inaccurate. When I was ready to truly heal, I put my offenses to the side and I started to listen. As she began to explain trauma and what causes trauma  I realized and had to admit that, I am traumatized as hell. That was one of the hardest sessions because to admit that I had endured some trauma was to admit that I truly had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Is it possible that I have lived with PTSD all of this time and didn’t know it? Could it be possible to have PTSD and not be impacted by trauma? Did I miss the signs of PTSD in myself all of this time? Yes.
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Trusting Trauma
 
I am preparing to go through a treatment for PTSD called Exposure Therapy(or something like that) and I am so afraid. Exposure Therapy is when you face the things that caused PTSD, it’s putting you face to face with what has happened and what you fear will happen again; this scares the crap out of me. Nevertheless, I am ready to enter treatment and take my healing and recovery to the next level. The other day, after I called to make my appointment and everything in me was shaking, a thought came to me. It was a calm almost soothing voice and it said, “trust your trauma.” Now, I dare not take credit for such a thought, I am not that wise nor that deep, God was talking to me. As I listened, still shaking, I decided that with support, radical faith, and courage; I will trust my traumas. Like me, you may be thinking, how do you trust something that has not only hurt you but caused you emotional and mental damage. For me, trusting my traumas means that I face them, I embrace the event, I acknowledge that it happened, I don’t make excuses for those who participated in my trauma, and I see the lesson in the trauma. You see, the lesson is the key to healing. When I understood this divine cue, I felt a little less afraid. If my sister’s passing has taught me anything it has taught me that there is a lesson in EVERYTHING that occurs in life. With every obstacle, hurt, success, or loss there is a lesson. Trauma, while it has changed me and caused me great pain, fear, and illness; it has served me as well. As I begin this intimidating and unnerving chapter in my life, as I face the things that terrify me the most, as I look my fears in the eye; I am going in looking for the lessons and coming out with healing. Onward♥
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