‘Sometimes the healing hurts more than the wound’

barefoot

Sponsor
I just saw this on a Facebook meme and, while I don’t generally consider my life through the lens of memes, this one did strike a chord.

If I think back to a key event I experienced when I was 13, I don’t remember feeling that bothered by it. When I look back on that time and the subsequent years, I can see that there were signs in my behaviours etc that I was impacted by it, that I wasn’t ok about it. But I really don’t remember paying much attention to it. I definitely don’t recall consciously feeling particularly horrified/frightened/upset about it.

But talking about it in therapy? Or connecting to that experience now when I journal? Or when I come across similar themes elsewhere? Yeah…I so viscerally experience the intensity and brutality of the impact.

So, the wounding must also have been those things, however much - or little - I think I felt it at the time?

Not sure what this post is for really! Just sharing it in case it resonates with anyone. And if anyone wants to comment on what it brings up for them (whether it resonates with you personally and your own experience, or not) I’d be really interested to hear what anyone else makes of it.
 

osiris

MyPTSD Pro
I’d say for me that’s a spot on phrase.

I had wounds that I was able to hide, avoid, and just bear, maybe like broken bones that were left to somehow mend themselves. Sometimes I still live with them to some extent.

So when I ended up in therapy a couple of years ago and started doing emdr it felt like all my bones had to be broken to be reset. And often to get to them my skin had to be peeled back as part of the process.

f*cking painful. But productive.
So on I go...!
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Yeah, blocking out memories entirely and not feeling too much meant I was able to skim through life for decades relatively ok. Until that didn‘t work anymore. Hence starting therapy. Hence realising there are feelings, and terror, and unbearable stuff. Who knew?
so yep, feeling this for the first time with no skills to manage those feelings is a tough, bumpy, incredibly hard process.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
for me, this was/is true for specific memories. but repressing those specific memories was kinda like ignoring holes in my roof. they were no problem, whatsoever, on the warm, sunny days, but it didn't take much inclement weather to get me feeling those holes acutely. those holes didn't heal for the ignoration. they kept getting bigger and bigger until one day i looked up and discovered i had more holes than roof. surprise, surprise.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
Hence realising there are feelings, and terror, and unbearable stuff. Who knew?
Ha! Yeah…!

feeling this for the first time with no skills to manage those feelings is a tough, bumpy, incredibly hard process.
Yes, for sure. Especially, as we’ve talked about before, when dissociation used to play a big part in keeping those things away/hidden, and then suddenly the dissociation doesn’t come and WTAF?!

@arfie - I’m definitely feeling everything you said there! 100% this reflects my experience too. Didn’t realise I had holes in my roof until water started pouring in, flooded the place and I nearly drowned!
 

SallyO

New Here
I just saw this on a Facebook meme and, while I don’t generally consider my life through the lens of memes, this one did strike a chord.

If I think back to a key event I experienced when I was 13, I don’t remember feeling that bothered by it. When I look back on that time and the subsequent years, I can see that there were signs in my behaviours etc that I was impacted by it, that I wasn’t ok about it. But I really don’t remember paying much attention to it. I definitely don’t recall consciously feeling particularly horrified/frightened/upset about it.

But talking about it in therapy? Or connecting to that experience now when I journal? Or when I come across similar themes elsewhere? Yeah…I so viscerally experience the intensity and brutality of the impact.

So, the wounding must also have been those things, however much - or little - I think I felt it at the time?

Not sure what this post is for really! Just sharing it in case it resonates with anyone. And if anyone wants to comment on what it brings up for them (whether it resonates with you personally and your own experience, or not) I’d be really interested to hear what anyone else makes of it.
I had a brutal childhood and came out with Codependence and PTSD. I started therapy at 24 and kept going for at least 25 years. It is painful but keeping it down doesn't get rid of it. It is still there and will resurface in any number of inappropriate or destructive ways if we don't deal with it. I have always felt that it is better to pull off the bandaid, clean the wound and let it heal. It hurts like hell but then it is really gone! Well worth it for me.
 

Charbella

MyPTSD Pro
If I think back to a key event I experienced when I was 13, I don’t remember feeling that bothered by it. When I look back on that time and the subsequent years, I can see that there were signs in my behaviours etc that I was impacted by it, that I wasn’t ok about it. But I really don’t remember paying much attention to it. I definitely don’t recall consciously feeling particularly horrified/frightened/upset about it.
This is pretty much how I feel about all my abuse. It’s why I don’t understand the question “do you fear the abuse or the memory of the abuse?” To me right now the memory of the abuse is it, I didn’t fear it then so how could it be the abuse. The memory of the abuse and the reactions it’s going to cause are terrifying.

The meme is how I feel in a nutshell. It’s kind of like when I was a kid and stepped on a screw while running, I felt something and reached down to remove it while still running, I pulled it out before I even noticed what it was, the next step I took is when the pain took hold. It’s also when my mind replayed what had just happened and I realized that I’d just seen a screw with all my flesh imbedded in it. Later I had to have a tetanus shot and it hurt worse and longer, it swelled up to half a baseball. The cure was worse than the wound.

As my T said this time I have to actually go through it, before I got to disassociate and compartmentalize my way through it. It was a moment in a lifetime but the haunting effects have been around a lot longer.
 
C

Carol nay

I so agree. Read a comment on another site from someone getting disciplined for bad grades. Not only did i go back to that time emotionally it was almost felt physical. I also realized the time periods. It always felt like a longer time period but after reading that comment I realized it was from 3rd grade to 6th grade 4x each years getting beat so bad i couldn't stand. I just don't understand why it seemed so much longer
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
A big part of it is the mechanisms PTSD uses to hide itself. I had a talk with my T about it a few sessions ago. Like what @Movingforward10 said, block it out, try and forget and sooner or later the fog of PTSD amnesia kicks in and abra-cadabra its gone.......

Not really, it's still there it's still doing damage, it's like a splinter, if it doesn't come out it festers. When it does come out? Not only do you need to get the splinter out you gotta deal with the puss and infection.

And the longer its in there - the more infected it gets and th harder it is to clean and heal.
 
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Renly

MyPTSD Pro
Yeah, blocking out memories entirely and not feeling too much meant I was able to skim through life for decades relatively ok. Until that didn‘t work anymore. Hence starting therapy. Hence realising there are feelings, and terror, and unbearable stuff. Who knew?
so yep, feeling this for the first time with no skills to manage those feelings is a tough, bumpy, incredibly hard process.
This sums up my experience as well.
 
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