Perhaps I am crazy after all.
I woke during the night, and for some unknown reason, I began to feel sick about my response to an email I received. 'What on earth was I thinking to leave a super long detailed message to a loved one? Have they showed it others I know? Do they all think I’m right off? Mad? Is that why they were distant last time I saw them? Why several other loved ones haven’t responded to messages, I’ve sent them recently. Are they all unhappy with me for some reason? The way I shared about me and my child’s being and life?'
‘Shit! I did it again! I said too much! Why did I freakin’ do that?’
The spiralling down began. ‘Of course, my messages would be shared with others. I know better not to leave vulnerable messages like that because they can be shared – to anyone!’
My Shame Lane thinking picked up speed into other areas of my life.
‘What am I doing with my child re learning? Am I doing a bad job? Am I screwing up their life? Maybe I’m crazy, and I don’t know it?’ I thought about some of my blog posts and questioned them too, things I’ve shared about my inner world. 'Will others think I’m grossly immature? Someone who just needs to move on with their lives and stop carrying on about insignificant stuff. Just grow up!’
My Shame Lane grew longer – I’ve been here so many times before.
I noticed how emotionally sick I felt. One thing that really helps me to move out of this painful thinking is Ho'oponopono. “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive, thank you". I said this a few times to myself and then thought ... (here’s the loving shift in my thinking) ... 'perhaps I could research something, anything, to stop these self-harming thoughts before they swallow me up'. I clicked on a link already on my phone, and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I felt it was written just for me!
Treating PTSD as a Shame Disorder, and the role of compassion.
“Trauma can create deep-rooted feelings of shame that are extraordinarily detrimental to emotional well-being and act as a risk factor for PTSD.”
So what happened to me?
The random email from a loved one asked what I thought about a website that claims homelearning is harmful. It triggered my trauma – big time. I know this because I described in one of my long responses, my body shook, my heart pumped hard and fast when I read the content.
Yep, classic ‘Fight, Flight, Freeze’ reaction.
I explained I had a full body experience in response to the content. I thought if I shared how my body reacted to this it would show how damaging the material was.
This complex relationship between shame and PTSD can create a cycle of shame and distress that disrupts your ability to live a full, stable, and healthy life.
But remembering what and how I shared made me feel deep shame.
Shame about who I am. I was who I was in my responses, that part of ‘me’ I’m not always able to be. That part of ‘me’ that was heightened due to the CPTSD (Complex – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) trigger. That part of ‘me’ who thought it would be an opportunity to advocate for awesome neurodivergent humans like my child. IN GREAT DETAIL! Yet, regret washed over me when I didn’t hear from them after my 'over share'.
‘Why didn’t I just talk to them face-to-face and avoid all of this?’
But I know I wouldn’t have been able to fully express myself in a conversation because in a discussion there can be too much to manage to be able to say what I'd truly like to say. But here’s the problem with that.
Because I wasn’t interrupted, I fear I said TOO MUCH!
At the moment it felt right. It felt like the good and loving thing to do. But when there is no response from all that I shared and self–doubt crept in. I begin to reject and hate myself for the way I handle things.
But shame isn’t about judging an action and correcting it; shame is about judging yourself negatively, questioning your own worth, and blaming yourself for transgressions committed against you.
I have big responses, I have big feelings and loads of thoughts.
My neurology doesn’t have just one thought about something. It is a thinking machine. It likes to cover all angles. Looks at things from every possible view. So being asked a ‘simple’ question is not so simple because a question could be referring to a whole range of things or the intention could be genuine or perhaps hiding another agenda, good or bad. Humans are not always upfront about their intentions. I know, I am one! Ha!
The possibilities then become endless.
So, I covered all the possibilities in my messages. I covered everything. And that ‘everything’ can be TOO MUCH for people. The ‘too muchness’ is why I’ve been called ‘crazy’, ‘mad’, ‘zany’, weird etc. It can appear to be unstable rather than a sign of intelligence or creative individual brilliance.
My brain does what it does –I have no control how it works.
My child is the same. Do I really want to reject our minds? Do I really want to think my child and I are bad people because of how our brains work? No. Most of my loved ones do not know what we’ve been through. They really don’t. They haven't asked, and not talked about it, so they don’t know. They would have no idea why something seemingly so ‘simple’ could have caused such a strong reaction from me.
But do I?
Yes, I do. We’ve walked a hard road full of humans who did not/do not understand us, suggesting to us what we should or shouldn’t be or do. Some are upfront about this, most are not. They, perhaps without knowing it, have and can cause harm. The kind of injury that is easily triggered.
I feel great compassion for what my child and I have been through.
We are doing the best we can. We will have strong reactions to what people do and say because of what we’ve experienced, because of how our brains and bodies work. It’s the way we are. It’s the way PTSD works. It’s painful when others don’t understand, go silent, gaslight, gossip, judge and reject us. It's painful if they feel great love for us and say nothing after I open up in the way I bravely sometimes do.
The long list of silent humans adds to our C–PTSD.
I blame myself for others harms done to us. I shame myself for being traumatised. I shame myself for my neurology, my autism, for a brain that thinks ‘too much’, a heart that feels ‘too big’ and a body that reacts to it all.
All of this adds to my Shame Lane and then adds to my PTSD.
It also adds to the old negative view that autism is terrible. That how I choose to love, trust, revel and lead with our neurodivergence it is wrong, weak, ugly, defective and should be destroyed, removed and deleted from the human race.
More shaming and more C-PTSD.
Which leads to the thinking 'I shouldn’t do the work that I do. I should stop. Be silent. Don’t make waves. You're hurting and confusing people'. But then if I do that I stop living a full life as I did before. If I foster shame it destroys me and affects my child. Let’s be honest, shame has the power to kill. So where to from here?
Love and compassion.
I'm to love and accept my mind, heart and body. It's all okay. I am not perfect. I'm not always mature. I do make mistakes. I do get it wrong. I can be controlling. And as my parent would say in response to this ‘welcome to the human race!’ I can't undo being traumatised as much as I can't stop the triggers to that trauma.
This kind of pain needs my love.
I need to remind myself that others who do not know or understand us or know how to connect with us shouldn’t mean I shouldn’t care about myself. How I express myself shouldn’t only be seen as terrible in my own eyes. It can also be seen as fantastic. My tribe love the way I express myself. They love the way that I am.
They see me as a beautiful human as I see them as beautiful humans.
As Siddy use to say “if people don’t like you the way you are, then they don’t like you at all’. There are going to be humans that don’t ‘get’ me, like me or not gel with me at times. There are going to be others that love us greatly but don't know how to connect with us or I with them. This should not mean; the way express my thoughts and feelings, the way that I am wired, how I'm affected by trauma or how I'm triggered is something to be ashamed about.
My neurology, trauma, shame, PTSD and who I am needs MY love.
STRETCH _ EMBRACE _ SOAR
Whether I accept this or not, or have a diagnosis or not,
it is still true,
I feel deep shame about who I am regarding transgressions committed against me.
INTRAPERSONAL CREATIVE QUEST
To love, trust, revel and lead with our beautiful autistic minds
through knowing and acting on our Roarheart
the inner inexplainable knowledge and truth
~ our intuition ~
Reflect and create a picture or journal the answer to;
Have I thought, felt, done or experienced things like this?
Share with another anything discovered in the Sacred Writing/Creating.
What happened where I feel shame about who I am?
I pause with quiet reflection upon those moments where I feel great shame.
TODAY’S THANK YOU
I am willing to THANK all my regretful, angry, fearful and negative thoughts I may have.
I will trust, even if I don’t want to, all that I am aware of now, is how it is has meant to be – to be open to something new.
I am willing to put aside everything I think I know about myself/child, my life, my past and my future, to have an open mind and a new experience with my shame.
I am open to the possibility of embracing my child's and my shame receiving new thoughts to love, trust, revel and lead with our Roarheart [our inexplainable inner knowledge and truth – our intuition] learning how to know, direct and master our individualised lives.
Out Of The Fog: C-PTSD
Intrusive Thoughts: Responsibility OCD