Trauma + Healing Stories
Empowerment + Validation + Support for Trauma Survivors, one story at a time.
Tonight I wear the face of a stranger.
Steps feel like floating, letters I’ve recited since I was 5 years old are from a different language.
My skin feels so thick on this body that’s supposedly mine, if I could climb out of it, take it off, it wouldn’t be so heavy... maybe it would feel like my lungs could finally get enough air in them.
Trauma wears many faces.
And when you’ve walked the path of trauma long enough, you start wearing a few faces of your own.
Some days I am confident, some days I am scared, some days I relive the pain I broke free from on repeat as though I was still in that moment. And some days, I am nothing.
Today is one of those days.
One of the days where I won’t hear the words you say.
A day where I won’t read the words even I write.
A day where whispers are loud as screams and every light burns my eyes, and my brain tells me they aren’t real, so it doesn’t hurt so much.
They tell “normal” people that dissociation is like the times you drive your car, and you get home, and you can’t remember the drive.
Maybe that’s what it means, for “normal” people. But for those of us who can’t remember what was said moment to moment, where years of our life are missing and we’re told we probably couldn’t handle remembering, even now. (...)
I guess that’s my “normal”.
On days like today, where silence is solace and the touch of a fingertip makes me feel naked.
I give myself space.
I let what’s real and what’s not melt away as I lay down my head.
And hopefully, tomorrow, I’ll wake up wearing my face.
I've never really had "lunch table" anxiety over who to sit with or worried who would like me. In fact, as soon as I began to realize in 9th grade what drama would occur in those situations, I would skip my lunch period to draw / write in an empty classroom or go to visit my favorite English teacher to talk about books, life, and girl things.
I've never bought into classes being more or less than. Instead I watched humans act out in full panic, embarrassment, shame, fear, insecurities, anger, revenge, deceit and other unregulated ---> god awful feelings.
I watched bullies cry hard in the bathroom and realized hurt people hurt people.
I watched popular girls pick apart their closest friends and judge wardrobes while panicking about their own.
I watched closeted gay students act out in defiance or bullying or resort to bashing the gay community out of shame they could not join it.
I watched kids with abusive parents pass as normal at school, even though I was one of them and whole heartedly knew how "not fine" we were.
I watched people call one another sluts for the way they dress, but had sexually abusive partners or were being peer pressured to have sex by their partner.
I watched boys eager to date, so eager they would stomp on friendships just to conquer the girl like a notch on a belt and then toss her to the side for the next conquest.
I watched friendships dissolve over rumors that were started within their own inner circle.
Growing up in trauma made me see the world differently. I spotted out so much abuse and bullying that I could not bare to be around it and I felt extra terrible every time I became involved in it.
When someone bullied me, I thought of how hard they must have had it.
When someone peer pressured or teased me I thought about how badly they wanted to fit in or how bad they wanted to escape the same labels they teased me with.
Hyper-vigilance and empathy were like paint brushes and jars of colors, allowing me to paint the world around me in order to understand it better.
I spent my time absorbing the scenes and then recreating the marks each moment left on others' into the words I now write so easily.
My flow and passion come from a life long observation of human development and painfully creative truths.
J.S. Jaded Savior
If you still genuinely feel like people have bad intentions and you are always coming up with reasons why you cannot trust them, they are lying or their actions are fake ----> you really have to check in with yourself as well.
Whatever triggers you to think someone else or many people [bigger indicator] are for sure up to no good or are just bad, it is showing you where you need to work further on yourself.
I have been friends with and even family members with people who would swear to me how bad people are.
"You know how most people are." Would be the overly used phrase said to me in reply to me saying something happened that sucked or was frustrating.
"Oh you know. The whole world is doomed and a disaster."
I can only picture how elementary school aged me took that nifty piece of advice.
The thing is, everyone who has ever told me that:
☆ People who ask for money are liars and scammers
☆ Dates who are late or busy alot are cheaters or uncommitted
☆ Raises do not really get given to people because bosses do not care
☆ Their mom probably won't like you because...
☆ That person won't like you because....
☆ Girls will never actually be nice to you because....
Because apparently the whole world and every single thing in it is horrible.
I have never drank the poop smoothie. Yup sounds as bad as that is for you.
BIG SHOCKING ANNOUNCEMENT, BUT NOT EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING IS BAD.
And the people who say this to you, they have GUARANTEED, unaddressed trauma.
Like really take a moment and picture your parent or close friend or even partner saying "life sucks" and connect all the sucky things they have experienced to the amount of times they have addressed and healed those things.
No longer balanced, ehh?
We all have these deep seeded ideas because we have been through some shit.
By someone else who was hurt and not healed.
Say it with me. "Hurt people hurt."
And while it is true we have all been through trauma, it is also true that many people are healed.
Many people have chosen to work on themselves and heal. Once they do that, they know how to behave with other people and make healthy decisions. They honor boundaries, have healthy communication and then actively do BETTER.
If you find people around you saying downer sh*t, the only thing going on in reality is that person needs to work through some things.
It is not for you to internalize other people's pain and then call it an experience.
READY FOR THAT?
OTHER PEOPLES' PAIN IS NOT SOMETHING FOR YOU TO INTERNALIZE AND CALL AN EXPERIENCE.
And I did not pick this up from a stylish, glossy card or new best selling book, even though knowledge is Queen. [Ok princess awareness is the shit too].
I knew a long time ago that I was not taking anyone's word for anything until I lived it.
Also, I was not going TO TAKE RISKS only if it worked out at the end.
I needed to be happy with my choices knowing they may not work out prior to leaping.
I also had to LEARN WHO WAS GOOD AND WHO WAS BAD BY GAINING AWARENESS of what toxic looked like.
What people who made bad choices constantly looked and sounded like.
Those WERE the people to watch out for.
Luck for me I learned quick because I was raised by them. <--------
BEING RAISED BY MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE WITH ADDICTIONS AND TOXIC, ABUSE BEHAVIORS DID NOT MAKE ME HATE THE WORLD.
In fact, I have so much love and acceptance to give because i know not everyone is bad.
I have known kindness and love from people because I have gotten back out there every single time there was a chance to rebuild.
So here is this:
I will never outgrow toxic people if I break bread with them.
I will never meet good people if I sit around listening to people who are not healed.
I will never do anything life changing or positive if I take lessons from people who chose to blow it in their own lives.
And I will not take advice from anyone who wants to blanket the bad experiences they have had with the rest of the human population.
In other words, their pain is their own to heal.
Just like my healing and growth is mine to adopt and prosper with.
♡J.S. Jaded Savior
I do this thing now that helps me out tremendously when I get "flicked by bullshit".
I say "NO. I AM NOT DOING THIS."
Sometimes it is a whisper.
Sometimes, it is a SHOUT.
Someone from my past tries to slip into my DMs, "NO. I AM NOT DOING THIS."
Someone writes something really negative or mean on a post or share of mine, "NO. I AM NOT DOING THIS."
Someone wants to come out and play picking fight with me about literally anything, "NO. I AM NOT DOING THIS." [I hate confrontation and think it is a volatile way of expressing a feeling]
I get anxiety over something not done in the house and start to panic: "NO. I AM NOT DOING THIS."
I am talking with my husband, in clear disagreement, and start to feel angry or not heard/seen, so I gear up to fire back: "NO. I AM NOT DOING THIS."
MY KIDS MAKE A HUGE MESS EVEN THOUGH I SPENT THE WHOLE DAY CLEANING AND SORTING. I AM ABOUT TO LOSE IT OVER THE MESS. "NO. I AM NOT DOING THIS."
The point is, I have to do this constantly.
☆ losing my shit
☆ getting pains in my chest
☆ hysterically crying
☆ hitting a low mood
☆ getting panic attacks
☆ saying things I will regret
I have had toxic ways of reacting. I was raised by emotionally abusive and manipulative people. And loved + lived with similar traits before. I have even had some explosive traits.
Because we are a sum of what we surround ourselves with.
I now refuse to participate.
I never knew I could do that before.
Not sign up for the party.
Not take part in a fight or triggering event that would normally break me, but instead go take space to calm down and explore my emotions to find out why I feel what I do.
Not say things out of regret or defensiveness, but instead taking space to think and process.
This process aids in regulating my emotions.
I actively pull myself out of a moment that I do not like.
This also means big changes had to come in my relationships and what I surround myself with.
I had to honor everything in my space and life as healthy for me. Whatever was not, had to go.
I have had to declutter every corner of my life.
And it feels so....
From now on, even if I need to scream it and run away like a weirdo, I am keeping with my mantra. "NO. I AM NOT DOING THIS!!!!!"
I AM NOT
☆ PARTICIPATING IN ANYTHING THAT IS FLUNG, CATAPULTED, OR SNUCK INTO MY SPACE TO HURT ME.
Nope. I won't.
Not doing it.
The only principal I live by now is, "does it bring me joy?" And if the box checks off, i say "thank you for this."
I tell the universe, hands intertwined and chills throughout my body, that I am so thankful for the good. "Yes. This. Thank you."
Because I am my own boss now, thanks.
J.S. Jaded Savior
Tonight, sitting in the bathroom and writing inside the tiniest binder I have ever found, I am setting some intentions for my personal growth and healing journey.
I am writing to the Universe and speaking my truths. ♡
I have decluttered and organized mine and my spouses little bedroom + our kids little bedroom to show love and appreciation for it.
After almost 5 years living in my in laws place for help while we struggled, showing frustration and circling in my small space like a stressed out tigress ----> I have finally surrendered to this space.
Instead of letting my depression paint these walls and the caving in of unintentional space being taken up sink me further ----> I have utilized the rebirthing energy I have had all day long to RECLAIM THIS SPACE.
Tonight I am thankful for the JOURNEY and I am telling it this was all great for my growth but I am ready for MORE.
I gave my three kids who share their little room a bunch of space and organization now to sit and play with intention, to display their art, and appreciate the fact that they share it all with love and joy.
It is hard to feel JOY when you do not feel like you can BREATHE in your space.
I have never known what it feels like to have a HOME of my own.
I never went to bed feeling safe in my bed or like it was a place I could miss.
I've always been ready to roam, no weights on my ankles or reason to hold myself back.
I write in this little book my complete desire for HOME.
A HOME FOR MY FAMILY.
A HOME FOR MY PASSIONS.
A HOME FOR MY HEART.
I cannot wait to speak unto the Universe for my biggest dreams and goals, without fears that my ink spilled in waste.
I am ready to receive as well as believe I am worthy of more.
My bookshelf is now only filled with the books that will bring my future closer to me.
An alter space has now been created with my favorite photos + mantras + the start of my crystal collection and my money jar.
I have wishes in tiny corked bottles and a magical little purple bag with stars that holds other intentions and wishes.
I am stepping into my power as I finish off 2019 and it feels so good.
Like a door is closing and I'm now looking forward on a path paved just for me.
J.S. Jaded Savior
Your progress is not the sum of everyone else's support.
If you want to grow + expand your mindset and do something, you just have to do it and with your own motivation.
Your motivation can be seen as rock bottom. It might be that you never again want to be or feel alone. Or the way that you just did.
It could be the FINAL disappointment you faced and consciously decided no MORE of that.
Motivation does not have to be pretty.
And guess what?
Some people's reactions wont be pretty either.
What it has taken for you to change your life around, ONLY YOU KNOW.
YOU are the creator of your own LIFE story.
And whatever it takes to write a better future---> as long as it is healthy and wise ---> DO IT.
ONLY NON SUPPORTERS WILL SHOW UP TO SHADOW YOUR HAPPINESS.
And you do not need them anyways.
IF YOU ARE THINKING:
■ I DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO CHANGE
■ I DON'T HAVE THE TIME TO CHANGE
■ I DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES TO CHANGE
Know that the only thing going on right now is your fear is trying to talk you down.
Anxiety and depression are fighting for the SOAP BOX to tell you that your story has already been written "and it's a tragic one".
That is not true.
It is not logical.
Here's a thought that is though.
If you show up, you are bound to change.
AND SHOWING UP IS FREE.
NO ENTRY TICKET.
NO DOOR CHARGE.
If you show up for progress, you not only have a free pass but you get to choose what you take with you beyond the door.
BONUS DEAL, not everything is going to fit so you will need to travel light.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE....
Whatever does not fit in your life simply will be too heavy to carry on your journey.
And there is no time on your ticket.
You can SHOW UP whenever you want to.
Even if it is someone else's birthday or a holiday or mid breakup or a call to get away during a time others needed you.
You earned this ticket.
Any damn time you feel like accessing it.
I decided I need to be better.
Even though I'm poor.
Even though I have depression, anxiety and CPTSD.
Even though I don't have a set career.
Even though I don't have my own place to live.
Even though it's a Friday and a random time in the year.
EVEN THOUGH MY ANXIETY TELLS ME I HAVE TO START ON THE "FIRST OF THE MONTH" IN MY PLANNER OR ELSE IT WON'T COUNT AND I WILL FAIL LIKE I ALWAYS DO.
Anxiety is kind of a c*nt.
I need money to change, but not alot.
In the reality of reality, if I ask for donations in order to help me grow ----> a simple dollar donation from someone will get me [say it with me] ONE DOLLAR CLOSER TO THE HELP I NEED].
EXPANSION AND FEARS ARE ANTONYMS HERE.
You have to strip yourself of shame, worry, and what ifs.
ANXIETY IS NOT CONSIDERED CARRY ON.
So understand this.
You CAN. NO. YOU WILL FIND THE ANSWERS, SO LONG AS YOU START ASKING THE QUESTIONS.
So... do the work.
Ask for help.
Research your options.
Type in "free resources for .....".
Email a non -profit Organization that works with Trauma + Mental Health + Education + Transformation.
Whatever your unhealthy or undesirable struggles are ----> an answer awaits you.
The solution is just to SHOW UP.
J.S. Jaded Savior
Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
Louder I follow the beat, one tick at a time with slow breathes to calm my chest.
I am not calm yet but I am now centered.
It is 11:11 and the third panic attack of the morning has set in. But here I am, ankles crossed and legs bare on the bathroom tile.
Leaning my weight against the wall, nestled in the nook between shower and door.
This is my place of solitude, here in the bathing room -----> where my thoughts bounce around and come to a halt as they ricochet off mattress walls to ease my anxiety down.
My trauma does not reach me here very often, so this is where I go to find peace.
I never did do well with meditation music or counselors voices.
Between the irritating tones and sound waves of relaxation that everyone else seems to enjoy, I would hear nails to a chalkboard and a condescending tone.
PTSD makes it hard for me to remember things in order.
My mind is often like a jigsaw and I have to unscramble the 4000 plum pieces to decipher where my feelings come from.
I could get lost in a 3 hour roam around target, not for the pretty dresses or cutlery sets ----> but the way my mind loses track of time all together in wide open spaces.
Nothing brought more chaos and pleasure than walking aimlessly around malls when I had deep anxiety and depression.
The fact that I had no real direction or thing to drive home with felt synonymous with my swinging moods.
And the sea of strangers that scattered about made me feel like I was not alone, while at the same time providing no single intimate moment where I would have to dig up a boundary or conquer a trigger.
Time was a weird thing.
Perhaps because I was never allowed to own time, being told where to be indefinitely ---> and that was usually my room.
It could have been minutes or hours, or months, of solitude from evening til morning every day that kept me blinded to the clock.
Lack of play dates or outings unless I was locked out on purpose.
And in those times when I fell into the wind, I had everywhere and nowhere to be til whatever time.
How much does time really matter when your personality is stifled down by trauma?
When day after day after year, you only know that the abuse is timely?
The one consistent tick is the utter dissatisfaction your parent has with your existence...
When you have PTSD you evade time in ways others just don't understand.
In one moment, you are there just staring beyond the dinner plate ---> and in the next blink, you are a 10 year old with nails tightly gripping your thighs and tears streaming down your face as the THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. Of the stomping feet and the furniture crashing down to the ground startle you.
And in the next, you hear a voice that is no longer familiar but very much real. Telling you that you are ungrateful and unworthy of the things that you have. That you did nothing to earn them and you should have it all taken away.
Right back into sipping your water and shakily chewing your chicken, taking extra small bites as to not need seconds.
PTSD can be really subtle, this time traveling between moments and emotions.
It can present itself as calmness, being collected or just sleepy. It can look like a smirk and kind eyes, with a tight grip on the thighs under the table where no one can see.
PTSD makes it hard to wear a watch.
In fact, I always hated them.
Hated schedules and deadlines and calendars, without a clear reason why.
So I recently made a decision, against every fiber of my being, to use a gift card and buy a watch.
I consciously made the decision to step into the present.
I decided, in 2020, I want to master time.
Somehow, listening to the Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. has become therapeutic from the moment I first wrapped the silicone band around my wrist and pulled the tab off pause.
Now when I feel like my mind is about to leave, I focus on the ticks and all other noises just fall away.
Like a metronome.
I picture a heaviness in my wrist that anchors me to the present, and travels like a warmth through my veins within my entire body.
Hot lead, filling me up and telling me it is safe to stay.
J.S. Jaded Savior
On December 11th I wrote a text to the Universe [and my email address]. I asked for specific blessings of the things my heart wanted.
Since that afternoon, with tears of anxiety and fear in my eyes, I have anxiously repeated my list. Not because I was dying to receive objects.....
Because I was dying to be heard.
By myself. By others. By the universal energy that provides.
And I've learned something since that you may find quite valuable.
I did not receive any of it without first asking.
First I knocked on the universe's door.
Then I began writing intuitively each day.
Pouring my heart out and sharing my vulnerability without criticizing myself for my:
I decided not to police myself or lecture myself about etiquette or principals.
Not to say "stop asking for things and silently work on them."
The truth is, when we silence ourselves it's like putting a cap on a candle.
We snuff out our own hopes and dreams.
We suck the air right out and then cry when we find the dead things.
The things we wish we had.
The things we wanted or needed so badly but refused to show up asking for.
Every day I read my list and I thank the universe for it all.
Some of the things in there include "an unexpected apology" and "a thank you note".
"The ability to give JOY."
"The ability to receive JOY."
My heart felt called that day to write out many things that served myself and others.
Every day since, I have been in awe as I watch it all unfold before me.
As I see the beautiful affects of allowing my heart to breathe.
Friends -- write your letter.
And do not tuck it away in your mind or a notebook.
Keep it out.
Read it out.
Tattoo the words on your heart.
Instead if reciting discomfort, speak the things you wish into reality. ♡
The answers are often waiting at the tip of your fingers and tongue.
J.S. Jaded Savior
I've been thinking a lot about the concept of "whole" and how unattainable it feels for someone who has been shattered by abuse.
We idolize this idea of "whole" because we think there are people out there who just "are".
Who were born into the perfect, loving family.
Who never had to struggle without money or shelter or food or provisions.
Whole means holidays of magic and celebration.
Whole means a full fridge all the time and a happy person ready to cook and serve it.
Whole means loving relationships and healthy communities that all go [not out of their way] exactly as ALL IN as they should into helping one another out.
Whole means friends who show up, call, celebrate, and encourage you.
Whole means a job you love and an environment you absolutely love showing up to.
Whole means great health and balanced diets. Strong bodies and athletic stamina.
Whole means pleasured and pleasuring and nights full of orgasmic perfection.
Whole means all time is managed and all nooks are in their crannies and all bows are perfectly symmetrical.
Whole means never having to heal from the bad.
Whole means kisses and promises dont taste like regrets.
Whole means heard.
Now a days I ask myself...
Who even is "whole"?
Who had the luxury of being raised "whole" without nightmares or anxiety or depression?
Without illusions of who they can really trust or what their reality is really like without abuse?
Probably very few.
I want to talk about our TRUTHS.
The things that keep our shards of broken emotions taped together.
"I want to shake the standard and provoke the term 'whole' because too many people are avoiding their truths thinking that facades are crazy glue.
The truths are that we are every bit made up of trauma, each and everyone one of us is in some way hurt.
And so long as we chase our tails thinking the tip of healing is the end all, we do not really see the entire value of what we are in the present.
Not being whole has taught you a whole lot about life.
Not being perfect has helped you to grow through your mistakes.
You just need a reminder daily that what you are currently is a moving mosaic.
And it is beautiful.
So sit down with it, the fragments of your being.
And tell yourself it is enough now.
You are enough right now, your valuable insight and resilient nature.
And you will never "become somebody" or "do something meaningful" once you are "whole".
You will be invaluable now if you speak your truths.
Your purpose now is to be transparent during the hard days.
So that we can all realize we are quite similar.
And finally stand together.
J.S. Jaded Savior
You cannot have a healthy life if you are busy building your house with mud.
If everything every negative person throws at you, you honor as bricks.
Your foundation is only created with honesty, transparency, and awareness.
Those are three different fundamental ingredients in building a healthy YOU.
Though linked, they serve entirely different purposes in your life.
Honesty is the tool we use to differentiate between right and wrong.
Transparency is the way we paint that truth for others to see.
Awareness is the way we paint it for ourselves.
You cannot keep picking up mud from others when they do not have a foundation to even stand on.
No amount of money can buy the ground in which I talk about standing on.
No experience in the world can fabricate it, unless you apply what truths you have discovered to your personal growth.
In the end, we are all a sum of our truths.
I decided that my truths had to be painted across my whole life.
I had to reveal to people what my struggles really are.
As someone with PTSD, I am often stuck in my own past truths.
The stories that came along with the beginning of my life.
I have only been building that foundation for 29 years, 28 of which I spent worried about what people might think.
What will people say if I tell them my present? My past?
If who I am feels empty of a sense of "home" because trauma taught me how to live life on the streets.
Always with no strings attached and ready to burn bridges.
With a paintbrush in one hand and a match in the other.
I never wanted to believe other people's bullshit and baggage ---> infact my hypervigilance made me see the mud beneath their fists, their elevated heartbeats and loud thoughts.
I grew up around people who did not know the concept of truth.
Mental illness made my parents believe in stories that never even happened while running out scenarios they never could remember.
That is what addiction does.
What schizophrenia did.
Paint pictures on the wall of mud caves and convince them it was a mansion.
I chose early on to not fall for illusions but that kept me fearful of building something for myself.
I always questioned if I was capable of making my own dreams come true ----
Or if PTSD just kept me stuck as little girl making sandcastles in the sand.
At 29, I've had an awakening.
I've woken up to realize that sand was just mud.
And all I have done is sat around squeezing it through my fingers like a stress ball to ease my anxiety.
I have come to realize, through education and healing, that those people who gave me mud were not sitting around laughing.
That would be rational.
When someone throws constant judgement and criticisms at you, tries to tell you who you are for you and dismantle your chances of happiness-----> they do not have the capability or awareness to stop. Or say sorry.
Sick people cannot apologize for misleading you.
Guess what they lack?
Mud flingers have no foundation.
How on earth do you expect them to help you create yours?
So what is the solution?
The ironic thing is we often learn the hard way.
Through struggle and awareness, we realize we did not need anyone else.
Growing up, I had very little encouragement to follow my dreams. My life was kept very sheltered and controlled.
But I grew only as big as the tank that held me every single time.
Now I know I need to stop expecting tools or encouragement from broken people.
I can be resourceful AF on my own if I'm not sitting around waiting for others, especially those surrounding me, to build my life.
I know what it takes.
Sitting with my truths. Speaking my truths.
Brick by brick.
Until I arrive at the life I love, in full cognizance of the things that made me become healthy and whole.
J.S. Jaded Savior
J.S. Trauma + Healing Stories
A collective of stories about Trauma + Healing, to promote awareness, validation and support for Trauma Survivors.
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.
Jean Grey is a pen name that I use across socials and as a writer at my own discretion. Jean is my birth name and Grey is a symbolic addition I chose for significance to my identity.
Questions? Contact Jean at: firstname.lastname@example.org
EMPOWERING MINDS SINCE 2019
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2022