Many survivors of trauma and abuse experience this feeling. Whether it's because we were always most hurt when things were calm and stable, or our abusers intentionally attacked us when we felt good - it can be really tough to trust the feelings of safety, happiness, stability, and love.
Life is full of twists and turns, and for survivors sometimes it feels doubly so. Each random kick to the shins life gives you is bound to trigger you back to your trauma. After all, bad things always happen when we're feeling good, right? Even our own brains sometimes do this. We are most likely to recall a repressed memory or have a flashback when we are feeling stable, as your brain feels you are capable of handling stress better when you're already stable. So even when we can find happiness and safety away from our abusers, our happiness can be shortlived.
It can take a lot of time to get that feeling to stop coming up so strongly - a lot of time when you can consistently focus on accepting the unexpected bad things, and reassure yourself that your happiness didn't cause the bad things to happen. Consistency over time is the best way to fight that feeling, learning to trust life and people one step at a time before you can trust that things will happen and you can handle them
So this week's questions:
- When have you experienced this feeling of dread in your life?
- Have there been any times, even small ones, when you've been able to overcome that feeling? And if so, how?
- Examining when you most often have this feeling of dread, is there a feeling that connects them all? For example, do you feel people will betray you? Do you dread your partner cheating on you? Is there a common thread between most of those times?