A breakthrough is what finally happened!
Yesterday, on Wednesday February 22nd, between the hours of 7pm and 8pm a breakthrough occurred!
Now as many of you know who read my blog (Grandma & Mom), I’ve been struggling for most of my life – mentally more than anything. But yesterday, during a session with my new therapist, a lightbulb moment hit when we started talking on my childhood.
I started the session like I normally do with my therapists, UNLOADING on them! I usually let them know everything I have been struggling with prior to my last session. But this session and with this therapist, we started a bit differently.
Before I started unloading on my new therapist, she wanted to have a moment of silence; 30 seconds to be exact. I was cool with it.
After those 30 seconds, I felt so relaxed and rejuvenated – it was crazy! Who would of known that 30 seconds of silence could relax you so much?!
But anyways…on to the session.
After the 30 seconds passed, I let her know how my weeks had been since I last met with her. Honestly, they were like a rollercoaster. They started off really well, then went straigggght downhill after that.
So my girlfriend came to town last week, which was Great! I had a really good time and I think she did as well. We toured the city, watched some movies, ate well – it was good.
But it was really good because of one key element. We didn’t argue. At least not like we normally did in the past.
When my girlfriend and I fought in the past, it would be a screaming match that would last till what felt like the early morning. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t control my anger. If she got mad, I got mad too. If she stayed mad for longer than I thought was a reasonable amount of time to be angry, I got mad at her for not accepting my apology and moving on.
It was bad!
It was so bad that the police had to be called on us for us to finally go our separate ways.
It’s been about a year now since the police was called when we were living together in Massachusetts and I have since moved to San Francisco and she remained in Boston. And we are still together and going strong – would you look at God!
I was determined to move to California and seek the help that my therapist and pastor back in Massachusetts told me I needed.
Fast forward to today and I am working with my second therapist now, have read 2 or 3 self-help books (currently reading one now) and have become active in a church I found here in the city.
I don’t have a job at the moment, but I am helping my grandmother with some things here and there for a property she owns in the city.
But back to what I was saying. I am the tangent king!
So yeah, my girlfriend came out to California this past week and I noticed a BIG difference in how we argued. I remember she got mad when we went out this trip and I actually stopped to ask if she wanted to sit down and talk about it. I continued to apologize and tried my best not to rush her to get over it.
I don’t know about her, but that was a Major breakthrough for me!
What seemed to change my attitude towards arguing was the help I was receiving from my new therapist and the book she recommended, titled “Waking The Tiger: Healing Trauma.”
All along, the anger I was projecting towards my girlfriend, my family, friends and self was all just a reflection of the trauma I endured as a child. From my parents divorcing when I was around 6 or 7, to my stepfather constantly beating me, to being bullied at school almost daily. All of those were traumas that happened when I was younger, that were never dealt with and thus manifested themselves as symptoms in my adult life via anger, lust, aggression, jealousy, etc.
My therapist and these self-help books I’ve been reading all talk on embracing the trauma and trying to understand it. Thus taking a step further in the healing process.
What I had been doing my whole life was running away from my symptoms of trauma through chasing women, pornography, being angry all of the time or grumpy, showing signs of depression and isolating myself from others. It was time to run towards my trauma with open arms of love and understanding and that is what my therapist and I are working on and where the breakthrough took place yesterday.
The breakthrough moment happened when I told my therapist yesterday that though my time with my girlfriend was Great compared to the past, I fell apart when she left for Boston this past Monday. I didn’t leave my house for a few days, I ate horribly, I didn’t workout and I ignored friends and family when they would call or text me. It was bad!
But when I got to therapy and told my therapist this, she connected my recent emotional swing after my ex left to the abandonment I felt as a child when my parents divorced. Tying in my symptom, falling apart after my girlfriend left, to the source – the trauma of my parents divorcing and losing a loved one when my dad left.
It all made sense because though I don’t remember, my mom and grandma say I was really close with my dad and had to seek therapy after they divorced when I was maybe 6 or 7. That moment of not understanding what happened and losing my role model all of a sudden may still be rooted within me.
That revelation in itself opened my eyes like never before!
After that, the Real breakthrough came when I told my therapist how I coped with all the trauma I experienced growing up, which was through becoming like others. This, as I have read in multiple books on trauma and heard from my therapist is called dissociation.
Since I didn’t feel accepted nor loved by anyone during my middle school years and was enduring A LOT of trauma during that time period, I chose to change who I was or wish to be like others in order to survive.
I’ve hated myself for years because of choosing that route and seeing how it has hurt me so badly in my adult life in not knowing who I truly am. But yesterday, my therapist helped me change that hate for compassion.
My therapist informed me that it was actually a good thing that I dissociated as a child because my nervous system did what it needed to do to survive and I did just that – survived.
I am still here today. Though I may not know who I am, I am working towards it by reading these self-help books, seeking help with multiple therapists and trying to get active within the church.
I could have taken others lives as an act of revenge for being bullied so much or even taken my own life, but I did neither. And for that, I should be both grateful and thankful.
In that moment of shifting years of emotional frustration at the younger Ibsaa for disassociating to compassion for what he did, I felt a tremendous lightness overtake my body. I felt like my body became more whole.
And it felt Good! It still does a day later!!
I thank God, my grandmother, my girlfriend and my therapist for that moment. Without God, I wouldn’t still be here today; without my grandmother, I wouldn’t have the ability to be in this city and have transportation & money for the therapist; without my girlfriend I wouldn’t have found this therapist (or maybe it would have taken a while) because she found her; and without my therapist I wouldn’t have had the breakthrough I had yesterday.
I chalk it all up to God at the end of the day because He made that day happen and all the blessings are ultimately from Him.
Yesterday changed my life. And I hope I only continue to grow and get better as I heal the traumas of my past.
To end this blog, my therapist at the end of the session yesterday asked me to describe how I felt after experiencing such a profound breakthrough moment. I described it to her as I will you – as an image.
It’s like I am looking down at my younger self smiling and my younger self is looking back up at me smiling right back.
I thank God for that moment and that day.