I do not handle traumatic experiences well. I wish that I could say something different, that I could lie and say that I am brave, or emotionally secure enough to let them wash over me like some sort of superhero. The truth is far from it.
When difficult things happen, my defense mechanism is to shut down. I will say things like “I am fine”, doing my best to downplay whatever is truly going on in an attempt to prove that I am okay. Who am I kidding though? I am not okay.
I avoid talking about it. I don’t really talk with my friends, I don’t interact on social media. I replay those events over in my mind a thousand times, going over every single detail.
But then things happen that trigger these events, like someone yelling at me, someone making a joke that infers that I am not intelligent… or the Kavanaugh catastrophe being blasted out everywhere I look.
Then I begin to spiral, because instead of dealing with these events as they happen, I block them out until they build to a breaking point. I go to a dark place, where sometimes I can’t find a way out of it.
This is not okay. I know it is not okay. I still struggle with it.
It is important to know that you are not alone, that you matter, and that you can get through it. Even when it hurts so bad you can’t breathe, you will come out the other side.
I am grateful for my friends, and their refusal to let me sit alone with what I am dealing with.
Because some days it is too much… and they are there to take over for me.
It is okay to not be okay.