"Chronic coping Robot"
Reflection on myself and my experiences in the past few months has made me realize just how many "symptoms" and signs of trauma I have in my every day life.
I always thought I passed for "normal" and took pride in this passing persona when I was in college as well as previous jobs.
The truth is, I fooled myself for over the last decade.
I was always surrounded by triggers like people binge drinking, students with addictions, narcissistic relationships, and toxic family. So I eliminated those things.
I dove instead into projects, deadlines, multiple classes and multiple extra curricular acticities. I joined multiple clubs and started my own. I tried writing books and creative pieces outside of class. And painted, sketched, sewed clothing. I hand painted items and toys for my daughter. I brought my daughter to campus library hours and to work.
I submerged myself in responsibilities.
Does anything sound familiar so far to any of you reading this? I drowned myself in work. Said yes to every opportunity. When the plate was full, I said I was hungry for more.
But I was not actually caring for myself. I was disassociating instead of grieving.
I was latching onto places where I could thrive, but hide. And saying yes to all, trying to do it all well. I trained myself to do well under pressure. I did earn high grades and was successful in the things I did. I accomplished most of the goals I had.
So what is wrong with that?
I am not a superhuman. I am not all powerful and all consuming. Somewhere in me will break if I do not take care of me.
I never wanted to be home once I had my own apartment with my daughter. When I was single raising her and we spent our time at the University I attended, we stayed for hours. I went to the beach, park or city by train when I had any chance.
All of this was great for my kid. She loved it. I was not irresponsible in paying bills, getting responsibilities done or my juggle of work + school.
But I hated to be alone in my apartment. I hated to have silence. I hated to have to look at myself. And realize I was alone.
I dated someone for 4 yrs during that college time I had. And guess what? Same problem.
I committed to him blindly. He was abusive, mean, racist, disassociated with emotions, selfish, indifferent, did not do nice things for me and would ghost me and gaslight me.
I thought it was love. I wanted to know what more I could be or do. I kept on committing until it failed me because I was not going to be the one who failed.
No. I did not want to be alone. Not single. I was independent. He was shitty or ghosting. It was not about being single. I did NOT WANT to have someone say I was bad and they were leaving me. Because my own parents left. Family had largely left. Friends had left. Not many people were left in my arena.
Alone. Reflecting. Facing. Facing my problems. My symptoms. My side effects of being raised in a broken home. Of learning wrong things.
I was not whole first and then broken by a bad experience.
I was born broke. Broken. Beat. I never had a chance to be normal.
Now I am seeing it. Now that I have come to terms with my "personality" that I have laughed off, defended, boasted about. Not wrongly, but blindly.
I am not Just multi-passionate. I am not JUST self aware and intuitive. I am not just charismatic or creative. I am a chronic "cope" robot.
What is better than facing trauma in the eye as a kid? Sketching in my room.
What is better than facing my teen pregnancy and about to give birth body? Senior year taking full time classes and doing extra projects instead of naturally facing my emotions.
What is better than embracing my freedom as a young adult with my own apartment, a job, and college courses?
I should have taken a normal schedule. Spaced things out.
Seen a counselor regularly. I should have not dated, instead of being ghost-dependent on an asshole.
I should have not coped but dealt. I just did not know how.
And I do not hate myself for it. I am maturing. I am learning. And I am now accepting ME.
I got to thinking, an artist does art as much as possible. A writer, writes. A speaker looks for opportunities and goes to speak. Engages.
I love these creative professional titles guys. As it turns out, I am great at a lot of them.
But I only ever pick up a pencil or type when I am triggered. GASP.
WTF. Right?! A chief imitator. A boss mimicking machine. I'll mimicking happiness. I will mimick freedom. But I am not free. I have been trapped in that scary home for 12 years. I never left.
Watching "house on haunted hill" Netflix series made me cry like a baby. I binged it and then weeped at the symbolism and beauty of that series. At the pain and the torment this family faced. And in the end, time was like snowflakes. And their prison was that house no more than their mind, their illnesses and their addictions. Mind blown.
So this is it.
I have been a stay at home mom for a little over 6 months. And all these feelings are rushing in. I started off my STAY AT HOME MOM life by starting a mom blog. One that posts about mom life, healthy living, positive parenting, good marriages and financial education.
ALL GREAT SHIT.
Clever name. Great design. Great SEO. Great platforms. I obsessed and dove into it. Like I always do. But then I started to unravel. LIKE I ALWAYS DO. And there was no one to look at but myself.
I cannot blog about perfect homes, healthy behaviors, mom healthy routines, fitness for a great body. I HAVE NONE OF THAT.
Do not get me wrong, I love being a mom. I try hard. I love being with my partner, but being a wife is hard. Being a home maker is hard. I did not have Martha Stewart as a mother. I had mommy dearest.
What I committed to these last few months was mimmickery. I am not saying I have been a liar. No. I love my mom blog. And I did not lie about content. I am keeping my blog, as a LONG term project. Because it is great. And I made it that way. But it is not me yet.
What I am saying is that my mom blog and my life choices have made me see that I am in fact NOT OK.
It can be hard to get out of bed. Routines shmootines. You know what I mean?
Grocery shopping is overwhelming. Looking at ingredients and having anxiety about chemicals is triggering. Picking out what to wear is triggering. Having 3 loads of laundry is triggering.
Not because the tasks are hard. Because I have anxiety. Depression. PTSD.
It took me over 3 yrs to get beyond crying or having an internal panic attack when my husband used a knife in the kitchen near me.
Not because of him. Because of my childhood.
I have surrounded myself with chaos, indifferent and negative people, pieces bigger than I can chew---> MY WHOLE LIFE.
I am done.
Now that I see this, there will be no unseeing. The shocking truth is that i need slow pace, love, reassurance, healing, devotion, trust, committed people.
I need to look at imperfect me and say, "hey that's ok. Tomorrow."
I no longer want a passing grade, because I am failing me on the inside.
So what is next?
I decided to start a new blog + website that will give me purpose and healing without avoiding my problems.
I decided to write down and set REAL goals.
I want to be a writer professionally. I already write. But I want to go public. I want to show up in my own fantasy and make it real.
I want to write about my struggles and feelings in the moment. This helps me validate them, analyze them, and have an actual record. So my fears of glamorizing or avoidance will not happen. I will be transparent and then reflective. All qualities of someone healing.
I am going to seek counseling and read books I have about anxiety + personal growth + positivity. Because I do not just want to mimic it, I want to only be that woman. Who is loving and mature, balanced and able.
Ladies and gents, I am ready to become me.
Published by Jean Soto JS Jaded Savior blog: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Soto, mother of 3 and wife, is a writer + artist in the Hudson Valley, NY community.
Content mention of Rape, Abuse, Neglect, Addictions, Mental Illness, Kidnap, Molestation, Child abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, birth, body image, gender/identity dysphoria, sexuality, personal trauma, domestic violence and other extremely personal stories. Please practice caution. I am not a licensed physician or mental health professional. No medical prescribing is provided on this site, Only personal insights, experience stories, and advice; All stories published have had prior authorization. Questions? Contact Jean at: email@example.com
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