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Suddenly feeling connected to life and it’s terrifying and painful

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Rose White

I have come a long way. But this latest turn is really hurting my body. I called the crisis line tonight. Hard to talk but I can’t stop trying to hold on.

In my last session I grieved my marriage relationship. I was so stupid and clueless to manipulation and that was just normal life. I didn’t know better.

I’ve lived alone for three years now, I think. My sense of time is messed up.

The grief was so intense and now my body is feeling all this tension for days now. The only time it goes away is when I sleep, but I only sleep for a few hours then wide awake. That is new.

But also, for the first time I’m really frightened about being alone and dying alone. This is totally new and scary. Before when I was processing grief I would find comfort in SI. But that’s not happening anymore (thank goodness).

But this fear of being alone and realizing how alone I really am is driving cycles of panic. I feel like I’m 3 and just discovering death and being alone. It’s so uncomfortable. Maybe I should ask for another session but what if it’s just grieving more? Probably my therapist would recognize that I need regulation and grounding not grieving. I feel so gross inside. And I can’t eat.

The crisis professional said all these are good signs. I feel so alone and spinny. I don’t know what to do. Grounding. I’m supposed to do grounding. Feels like I’m just starting therapy for the first time and I disclosed my abuse. That’s how I feel. The circling back. My muscles are so tight. Please relief. Please hold me. Don’t know who I’m asking. I’m crying out to the Universe, “What am I supposed to do with these feelings??? They are so uncomfortable!!!”

At least I’m familiar with this. It’s happened before, but this is the first time without SI.
“What am I supposed to do with these feelings??? They are so uncomfortable!!!”

just sit with them. be gentle with yourself and patient with the process while get to know those repressed emotions and the new possibilities which are opening as you heal.

i was working as a volunteer in animal rescue during this phase of my recovery. i learned allot from watching abused/neglected animals react to kindness and/or improved conditions. however dismal their prior conditions, they clung to the familiar like a lifeline. more and more, i don't believe human reactions are all that different.

steadying support while you process the brave new potentials.
It might suck right now and I understand the sheer fear of dying alone. But yourself can see your own progress despite the discomfort. Knowing that in the now you're safe and not engaging in unsafe ideas anymore. There was that unhealthy soothing alternative that popped out, now it's hard to do without it.

I agree with arfie. Volunteering with animals is a good idea. You have human interaction but not much and feeling useful for another life is really a deep experience. And less stressful than with kids. You know you matter through this. Being around support systems and slowly learning to find solace through healthy relationships and not through brooming once again all that's happened before.

It doesn't feel like this right now but it's good work. Grief sucks. Grief of a lifetime sucks. Grief has its own rules and timelines and will often unhold its grip just to bite you more when you don't expect it. But that's normal. There is no point fighting it. But being surrounded by safe relationships (human or animal) during that time makes it less difficult. Perhaps not less difficult but at least not so horrible.

Gentle hugs @OliveJewel
@OliveJewel Discomfort is so uncomfortable! I guess you know you are entering a new state of recovery and just have to get through the discomfort to get to the new level of competence that awaits you after the discomfort is gotten through.
I’m sending a gentle strength-giving hug too🤗
Thank you for the hug Actualize. I need it.

I took the day off work. I’ve never done that unless I have physically sick symptoms.

I tried to take a shower but was just bawling the whole time like I never could since I was a small child. I kept saying, “I can’t! I can’t!” My dad hated when I said that! He would mock me or just leave. Even if I wasn’t that upset if I said it he would be triggered. My dad hated me because I was so helpless and vulnerable. I couldn’t even wash my hair today because I couldn’t coordinate my body. I kept saying, “I can’t breathe!” Because I was hyperventilating.

I am trying to cook oatmeal but I can’t measure anything because I’m so uncoordinated. Just put some oats and water in a pan and heat.

I’m not clenching my muscles right now.

When I got out of the shower my cat was right there and asking me if I was okay and I was bawling, “Noooo! I’m not okay!” And she cried out, like she was saying, “Don’t hold it in—louder!” Then she got on my lap and I pet her.

I think what’s so scary is that I’m not feeling like I want to run away or SI so I don’t know what to do! I just keep feeling so alone and scared and sad. And realizing that NO ONE was there for me! Except my mom did hug me and she didn’t beat me like my dad did, but she enabled. I was just a stupid little girl all alone but thinking that pretending is how to live.

I don’t know how to face anything or anyone. I can’t be strong. It’s like I’m re-entering the baby and toddler body who could not grieve anything because I was in the arms of a devil. So I put aside the grieving until now?! And I’m supposed to be the adult that holds her?! I’m already doing it?!

I’m so alone. I’m so alone. I used to think people were stupid to be attached. Everyone was faking anyway, was my thought. And now I’m sick and terrified of people faking.

This site
The people on this site, especially those who have supported me
A friend across the world who listened to me in the middle of the night and said she was tucking me in

The trembling is starting again.

It took me four and a half years to get to this point in therapy.

I should try to go to a park today and just walk. I’m so scared of being alone and I don’t know how to face it. I will get through this because it’s a part of my therapy. I know it was triggered by major grief in session. I know that I have a therapist who cares. I was able to call the crisis line and the CP was kind and supportive. I was able to reach out on here and to a trusted friend, I received support from both. I left a message on T’s work voicemail. My work is being covered.
I will get through this because it’s a part of my therapy.
Yes, you will. I'm sorry it hurts so much, and that it's frightening. But it will pass.
I’m so scared of being alone and I don’t know how to face it.
If it helps:
Feelings aren't facts.

I feel completely alone.
But I'm not.

For arms-length connection, I can call the crisis line.
For a closer connection, I can use the forum.
For a closer connection still, I can contact my friend.
And when I'm well again, I can go back to work.
And while I'm not well, and when I'm at home, my cat keeps me company.

All different types of connections. Maybe none are currently the type of connection you're searching for - that's a work in progress - but they are still connections. They're you're launching pad to even stronger connections as you heal.

Be gentle with yourself in the meantime.
I could never say exactly that I know how you feel but perhaps I have an inkling. When you move on from old ways of being and coping you need to find new ways to manage things and the gap between the two levels when you haven’t yet found the new way is frightening because you can’t figure out where your safety is yet.

I would echo advice above ie stay with your feelings. Listen to yourself and watch out for leads on how to move forward. Know that this is the learning part of the progress in your next step and that the discomfort will pass.

You’re not alone, we’re all one together ultimately.

Have a nice day with your cat and all the other support you have, be gentle with yourself and take care.
the gap between the two levels when you haven’t yet found the new way is frightening because you can’t figure out where your safety is yet.
This is very accurate and helpful for me to envision it this way, like levels and a gap. I feel very slow but like I’m seeing things differently, particularly people. I went out to the dispensary today and while I was in line I saw a young man with a beautiful rose tattoo on his neck and tattoos on his arms. My bias assumes some gang association. But what I noticed was he was trembling, like I do. It was almost imperceptible and it wasn’t like someone who is on drugs. And he was dealing with it the same way I do, tightening and releasing to try to force or balance it out. And the reason I noticed is because I was doing grounding exercises while I waited in line. So I saw what and who was around me.

The discomfort is less tonight. I was able to have a phone check in with my therapist. She asked if I would be able to go to work tomorrow and I said yes but I’ll be slow and watching people differently. She said I’m new. And thinking about it as a gap place helps me go slow to develop the new safety.

I was also able to talk to a friend around the world who had similar preverbal trauma to me. I was also able to reach out on here and connect and process and receive support. I think I’m able to receive support now. I suspect that will be one of the developments. Because I think I’m able to stay present with myself with less effort now. So that I can just be there with someone instead of thinking about what I should be saying.

Thank you for the support. I’m feeling more stable now which is better.
I'm so glad you're feeling better now. Just was gonna say, I KNOW that feeling. And I'm sure thankful I got to see you process it in your journal-- it will help me. I've lately been so scared of just the immensity of the feelings.

It helps me remember how strong I really am, to have made it this far thru the original trauma and then now having all the triumphs of the past healing, and hopefully you can rest more now.
hopefully you can rest more now.
Yes, I can, and thank you for the support and validation. I feel like that was an extremely important portal that I went through, and the third in a series that started in August.

I feel more solid and filled out in my body. I feel that joy is more accessible. I feel that I’m more tuned in to the flow of my life and of those around me. I’m able to be more present with people than before. I feel more integrated.

One thing I haven’t faced yet is my sexual being. Talking about it is the last thing I want to do. But when I do I think I’ll be ready. Maybe I’m just not ready yet.

After that event I reduced my MMJ dosage from about 30-40 mg per day to about 10-20 mg per day. I also stopped daily drinking. I am more on top of keeping my house organized.

And even though I feel more solid and filled out in my body, I feel emotionally lighter. My SI still tries to pop up, but it’s like a whisper and easy to brush off.

I think something critical that changed inside me is I don’t doubt that T is “with me”. If I need her she will be there to the best of her ability. And every day I carry that with me, like a nugget in my heart. And it’s very important.

It sort of sounds like dependency, but it doesn’t feel that way. It feels like a kind of freedom. Like with that nugget I can do anything. And I realize that whatever feeling I hold inside me about T is a hybrid blend with feelings about myself. It’s a team. And I can add people to it, if I want to, but I don’t need to.

I am accepting the attachment. I am accepting the care. I am accepting the relief. It’s like T was a good-enough emotional caregiver to help me develop a sense of self. My first pseudonym on here was “Searching for Self”.

I feel free to give my mom care and love because I’m not seeking it back from her the way I need it. She will provide love and care in her own way, and I will be grateful and give back, but I don’t need her to fill me, because I have something inside me now that is like an anchor which will hopefully last a long time, even after T is gone. Hopefully it’s something I can build on and add to.
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