February 3, 2017 by Courtney
Until recently, I would not have said that I’ve been through trauma.
When I think of trauma, I think of war.
I think of domestic abuse.
I think of growing up with parents doing drugs.
I think of being raped.
I haven’t been through any that.
I recently started going to a new counselor, and after talking with her for 45 minutes, she listed 4 traumas that I have been through. Then I talked with a psychologist for social security disability, and she felt the same way.
So, now I’m trying to figure out what that means for me.
What trauma have I been through, you ask?
Well, it started at the age of 3 1/2. I was sexually abused by a 9/10 year old. I won’t go into the details here, but let’s say it was pretty bad :-(. What’s sad is that you know that 9/10 year old had to have been abused as well. I actually don’t remember this, but I’ve learned that it still affects me.
From the age of 6 through junior high, I was bullied. Not just made fun of. I was ostracized by most of my grade. I was punched in the face multiple times. Knocked off a swing and stepped on. Punched on the arm multiple times. Probably more that I can’t even remember. I would see a counselor at school often because of this. I practically hated myself. I felt like I was flawed in some way and that there must be a reason nobody liked me. I still struggle with this to this day. I overcompensate often and have a lot of social anxiety.
Then, when I was 19, we were at a dance hall celebrating someone’s anniversary. My Pawpaw and Meemaw (who I visited at least once a week) had just finished dancing, and he went to sit down next to me. As he was sitting down, he had a heart attack and died immediately. On his way down, he fell against me. Then, I watched them do CPR on him, knowing that he was already gone. I was in the room at the hospital with my Meemaw when they came in to tell her that he had died. I lived with her for a month or so after he died, and it was really hard on both of us. Honestly, this probably has the least affect on me of all four traumas that I have experienced.
Probably the hardest for me is my brother’s death. It was a very gruesome death. He was at my parents’ house, and he used my dad’s rifle to commit suicide. The top of his head was blown off by the rifle. My mom was home and saw him :-(, so I would say she has it worse than me. I was the first person she called, and she screamed, “Your brother blew his brains out!” When we pulled up, they were carrying him out in a body bag. My parents didn’t want to leave, so while we were planning his funeral, they had to put a sheet up to keep us from looking in the room. Serv Pro came out and they had to throw away everything in the room. It was so bad that they had to completely strip the room… ceiling, walls, carpet. I remember walking by the window outside and seeing a piece of his brain on the window. I don’t understand why they didn’t clean that off for so long!
I was 7 months pregnant with Levi. Being the only other child, I had to take care of everyone else. I didn’t have time to grieve. I’ve still only cried a few times over it. I’m sad that I don’t have emotion over it.
I went through terrible postpartum depression with Levi (probably because of Joey’s death). I couldn’t function. Robert has said that I was in a complete fog and barely took care of our kids. He had to do the laundry, make meals, clean the house, etc. He would come home from work and I would hand him Levi and leave.
I started drinking to feel “better” when Levi was about 8 months old. I can remember the first time I realized alcohol would help my depression and severe anxiety (well, technically it didn’t… it was short term).
I have learned recently that a lot of my severe anxiety is because of trauma! Who knew?
This is what EMDR will help. I will truly be able to process so I can move forward.
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