finding a name for how i’m feeling

I know i’d never truly been so low before, until i started googling for answers like “how to recover from trauma” and “how to make the numbness go away”

compared to last year, it’s been slightly more difficult to make sense of my emotions and feelings. I’m usually able to sync in with how i’m feeling and understand why.

last year, i was able to pick myself up pretty easily. just going to parties, or sitting in nature, or taking a long walk would usually help. when i say help, i mean that i started sleeping alot better, eating well, and getting back to feeling great and happy.

this year, after acknowledging certain truths about my ex, and finally putting down rose-tinted glasses to look through, it’s been much harder for my mind to protect myself. i’ve awaken. i’ve pulled out of the matrix, and i can no longer go back to making excuses for him, and using “love and compassion” to explain his actions and behavior.

when the things he says differ so greatly from his actions, and this repeats in a consistent pattern, even a fool would have to be dumb enough not to realize he’s not who he says he is.

i had a conversation with one of his exes last week, and we compared notes.

just knowing that he exhibited the same behavior with me, as when he was with her, made me feel much better about myself. for so long in the relationship, and even after the marriage ended, i felt that it was my fault. i felt that i could have done much better.

i put alot of blame on myself, and told myself that “well if you hadn’t done x, maybe he wouldn’t have reacted by doing x”

but no. i was in denial. for 1.5 years. it was much easier when i could do something about my pain. because i put the blame on myself. so then it felt like i could do something to make myself feel better. i could forgive him. forgive myself. that felt easy enough to do. i wanted to forgive – but how do you forgive someone who isn’t even apologizing and asking for forgiveness?

i look through my messages with people about him, and i see now, that even after realizing what he’s done to me, i still protected him. i still made excuses for him. i still wanted to treat him with compassion and love. why?

the trauma multiplied by folds, when i was bullied so incessantly by his behavior after the marriage ended.

his personality flipped 180 degrees. he became a complete stranger to me.

i think the shock from that was strong enough to numb me out for the first 6 months at least.

if i go back and observe my own reactions to what was going on, i wasn’t myself at all. my mind went completely into a defensive mode. it needed to cover up the truth from me, and veil things up until i was strong enough to deal with it.

1.5 years later, i’m ready to tackle the truth.

that there is no justice that i can ever get from what happened. there is nothing i could ever have done to prevent him from doing what he did.

that instead of thinking he had no choice but to behave this way – he did have. and he made the conscious choice to do so again and again. he’s been doing it for years with other women, and i was no different. i was just another person. just that i was stupid enough to actually marry him.

his actions had been so clear and consistent – so obvious of narcissistic behavior. but my love for him had blinded me completely of it. my insecurities made me believe that he truly loved me. even if he really did think he loved me, i don’t i ever quite believed it because i felt he wasn’t self-aware. i think that’s why i always felt a slight uneasiness with him. that’s why i never quite believed him when he made promises and told me he loved me. i always felt that he wasn’t 100% himself, that he had a wall up with me but i never knew why.

what i should have asked myself – is whether i did really love him? the answer is probably yes, if not i wouldn’t be feeling so shitty right now. at the end of the day, i’m also just dealing with a completely broken heart.

months and months of me asking “what’s wrong?” and “what can i do?” led to naught conversations because he always reassured me that everything was fine. maybe on some level, he really wasn’t even self-aware enough to know that he was lying.

but after all the drama, shouldn’t he know by now, that his inability to heal from whatever past of his, is directly hurting people around him? this blatant truth that he realizes, and choose to ignore in order to protect himself, is the exact reason i make myself continue therapy.

i don’t want my trauma to ever turn me into a person like him. i don’t want to hurt anyone else that i date.

i wanna be capable of loving someone freely and openly again.

when you google “trauma recovery” and “stages of grief”, denial is an important barrier to overcome. and then the rage comes and overwhelms you. i could identity rage. and i was happy to acknowledge it.

anger is fun. anger is empowering and liberating. anger is giving yourself the power to feel invincible.

but lately, i’ve lost the joy in my hobbies – i don’t feel like painting, i’m lagging behind my italian classes, i can’t muster up the energy to work out, and i can’t seem to enjoy anything.

i feel a huge layer of numbness.

and that’s when i understand how difficult the depression stage can be. it makes me think of all the other people out there, suffering from depression as well.

i don’t think this is the first time i’ve felt this way. I remember feeling this way back in singapore – when i realized i wasn’t happy pursuing other people’s goals. but then i got myself out of the situation and i could then start to feel better.

with this, it feels like someone else put me in the ‘waiting room’ without an agenda, without a timeline, and without a way to leave before going for the appointment. i can’t go back and i can’t go forward – i’m just stuck in a void.

but in writing this down, i also remember how strong i’ve been since D-day. i have to remind myself how i picked myself up again and again and again over the last year. and this phase is only but one.

i have to remind myself that i’m not alone. and that there are millions of people out there – in collective hurt. and that if they can do it – so can i. if i can do it – so can we.

there’s definitely comfort in having a support system – and i’m so grateful for mine.

i’m penning down the journey of my healing process, so that i can look back on it in future, and know that it’s possible getting through anything else. because i’ve done it once before.

trauma and grief wear many hats – they come in many different forms. and we all just need to learn how to recover from it. we all just need to learn how to be kind and patient with ourselves.

we all just need to find an activity to do while sitting in the waiting room.

even if it doesn’t feel like something i wanna do – it feels right that i take care of myself well now. it feels right to flood myself with love. and i let people around me love me.

for anyone else experiencing a hard time in your life – i’m holding your hand through this. and thank you for holding mine.

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