“You need to get over the past.”
It is a phrase that is flung my way every few months. Unfortunately, It is something It comes with the territory. My advocacy work makes some people defensive. It makes them look at things they are uncomfortable facing. My truth can be threatening to those who do not want to look back. Yet I don’t speak out t hurt them, I do it because I need to use my voice in order to move forward. For me it is important in my healing joruney to face the past. Yet I wish people understood, that the past is a place that I work each day to leave behind.
I grew up in a traumatic environment. Due to my Mom’s alcohol dependency, I witnessed addiction and domestic violence numerous times during my childhood. There are memories that still bother me. Memories that left indelible marks on who I am.
That manifests itself in many ways. Raised voices make me nervous. A sound, smell or phrase can bring me back to a scary memory, and my body reacts accordingly.
My body is shaped around protection. It is used to the worst happening suddenly. Many of these reactions date back to when I was the last line of defense, protecting me and my sister from the chaos. Many of them no longer serve me, but they protected me for years. I honor them, even as I work to build healthier patterns.
As the child of an alcoholic, my past often returns unexpectedly.
I want people to see that. I heal loudly, because for years I thought I was an aberration. I silently suffered through my triggers unsure of how to reach out. I thought something was wrong with me, when in truth I was simply reacting to a trauma.
It isn’t about “getting over” my past. It is about honoring it while working to move into the future.
Together we heal