One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn this past year is to take responsibility for my hurts. Even though I am not responsible for the past actions of someone else that caused my old wounds I am responsible for my actions now. And there are times when someone’s actions trigger an old wound and I feel hurt by them. And it’s not fair to hold someone else responsible for my triggers and my hurts when there was no ill intent on their part. I still don’t even understand all of my triggers or am aware of them all so how can I expect someone else to be aware of them? I try to do my best to explain myself and my triggers when given the chance but that’s not always possible. And I don’t want my wounds to bleed onto others. I don’t want to hurt people. So as hard as it will be I have to own up to this and take responsibility.
There are some things that do trigger me more than others. Top of the list is feeling ignored and unheard. This will probably be the one that is hardest for me because of how much validity is behind these feelings. Because of the things I’ve gone through even something small and accidental can be a big trigger for me. And it’s one that hurts the most. I used to think of this as a character flaw, I was just acting too needy. But I see it for what it is now. Feeling ignored causes feeling of betrayal and abandonment within me. And I know it’s because of the times in the past when I needed to be seen and needed to be heard and wasn’t. Times when I was left alone in situations I didn’t want to be in. Times when bad things would happen to me even though I was surrounded by others. No one saw the things that happened because no one saw me. And I felt alone, abandoned and silenced. I know the people in my life now are good people, I made sure of that. I also know when I feel I’m being ignored it’s not because someone is trying to hurt me. I know, but it still hurts.
So I’m trying to learn not to react immediately to these hurts but to take a step back. I’m learning to express when I’m feeling hurt and need to distance myself, for your protection. I may not express it in the best way yet and I may be fighting anger while expressing it, but I am trying. I don’t do this because I am mad at someone because I’m genuinely not. And not even because I want to distance myself from someone because the distance itself hurts. But I’m learning if I don’t figure out the root of the hurt and work through it I will probably react with anger because that’s how I mask my hurt. In turn my anger will hurt someone I don’t want to hurt. And I definitely need to distance myself if I feel hurt by someone I trust and feel safe with. Because that is such a rare feeling for me and makes even a small hurt amplified. As a result of my past I have become so defensive and want to protect myself. Which means I may also feel the need to protect myself from someone I have felt hurt by. But feeling the need to protect myself is garbage. It’s just me reacting to the vulnerability I’m feeling. Vulnerability, real vulnerability is new to me and scary. I sometimes fight it even when I don’t want to.
Since I accepted that these hurts are my responsibility I do hurt less. I pay more attention now to others intent instead of assuming they are just another bad guy trying to hurt me. And I know distancing myself isn’t the healthiest way to handle this, especially when it’s for long periods of time But it’s all I know to do right now and it’s a step. Maybe one day the distancing will be down to just moments before I feel I can come back and engage. Maybe one day these triggers won’t hurt anymore. Maybe one day love and understanding will even help keep these triggers at bay. But for now this is my progress. This is how I take responsibility for my hurts.
And I’m sorry to the people I probably drive a little crazy with my confusing behavior. I promise I’m learning and I’m growing. If you’re in my life it’s because I need you and want you there. Don’t let my behavior or distance make you question that. And don’t give up on me. Be patient with me, I’m getting there.