I used to be a very reactive person.
I would get upset or irritated over pretty much anything and everything.
Especially when it came to change.
This behavior was exhausting for me and unfortunately would help justify my mom’s behavior towards me in addition to verifying all of the awful things she labeled me as.
Mean, cold, heartless.
It took me years to realize that I was just in a lot of pain.
Anger and reactivity were just ways of expressing myself but were entirely secondary to the amount of sadness and disappointment that were underneath.
There were so many situations and emotions I had experienced but never had the space to question or understand.
Even if I tried to ask for clarity, I was met with ridicule and often times a form of punishment.
Therefore I repressed …rather shoved down any feeling or emotion that I believed at that time would slow me down or cause disruption.
Even if I tried to be ‘softer’ or ‘nicer’ – I remember being quickly taken advantage of resulting in more resentment later equaling a lot more reactivity.
I traveled through life this way.
Very masculine and cut throat.
Defensive and on edge.
Attracting other people who were in a lot of pain that matched and enhanced my own.
Taking everything personal. And I let you know it.
A missed call = abandonment.
Being left alone in a crowded room = disloyalty.
Being misunderstood = this person didn’t give a fuck about me.
I wildly assumed that the better person I was, the less I would get upset about things.
When what I really needed to learn was how to communicate when I was upset.
To understand that healthy conflict is a real thing.
I didn’t need to scream/yell to get my point across.
I needed to develop the language and vocabulary to express what I was feeling.
I needed to create space in my mind and body to gift myself an opportunity to think in those moments.
I needed to attract people who didn’t constantly activate the pain inside of me.
I needed to create a pause before the reaction.
Most importantly, I needed to heal.
Until then, I continued seeing life through all of my pain.
Unconsciously asking the people around me to fill the voids.
I was so exhausted from being angry all of the time.
Yet anger was my most comfortable and present emotion.
Though, I wished for things to be easy.
I wished for things to be peaceful.
I shamed myself for being emotional.
I shamed myself every time I got upset.
Then it finally became clear to me … that the longer I remained in this toxic cycle with my mom, the longer the pain would live on in my body thus making it that much harder to experience life outside of this constant reactivity and fatigue.
I quickly learned that reactivity is wound memory.
That the reason I was so affected by everything … all of the time, .. was because of the depth of my pain.
Years of not being heard.
Years of being dismissed, minimized, laughed at, criticized.
Years of neglect, chaos and being lied to.
I was in a lot of pain.
I tried to run from it.
I tried to compartmentalize, intellectualize, rationalize, simplify … but it didn’t matter.
I needed to address what was happening underneath;
The deep seeded roots of abandonment.
The deep seeded roots of not feeling good enough.
The deep seeded roots of feeling like a problem.
I needed to spend time here.
I needed to tell the truth, cry, scream it out and love myself in the process.
Because it had nothing to do with the missed phone call.
It had everything to do with my parents always walking out on me.
It had nothing to do with being left alone in a room.
It had everything to do with not feeling good enough/interesting enough to be in a conversation by myself.
The little things that kept adding up?
The little things that kept triggering me and throwing me off balance?
The little conversations that felt like dismissal but maybe were actually just a result of having different communication styles?
Turns out, nothing was/is truly personal.
Everything felt personal to me because of how active the pain was.
It was like having sores on my body that were constantly poked at.
Each sore getting hit …over and over again.
Interrupting the healing process.
So, I had to give myself a REAL chance.
I had to put myself in an environment where I could finally get through a day without yelling or screaming.
& once I understood what was happening and created space around the pain points.
Once I honored what had happened when I was young and gave myself what I deeply was looking for, (love, attention, acknowledgement, security) … I was able to start operating through my every day experience with less constriction.
The sores started healing ..
One by one ..
And it’s not that I still don’t get triggered, I do ..
Sometimes I hear footsteps and I’ll be activated in remembering the fear of hearing my mom coming down the hallway to yell at us for watching TV.
If I let a cabinet slam, I’ll get triggered and spend a couple seconds waiting to get told that I don’t care about her feelings.
The list goes on, …
But the triggers have way less power.
I am in control now.
The space I’ve created within and the love I’ve given to myself has gifted me the on going chance to think before I respond or react.
A chance to see things objectively.
That even when I do get triggered or activated by something, I can communicate that.
I can allow someone in my space the opportunity to understand me.
The opportunity to work through it with me.
An opportunity to work through the moment without losing my shit or quitting on myself completely.
An opportunity to breathe and choose differently.
Now, while I am still a wildly passionate person naturally, … I am also a lot calmer these days.
My skin thanks me.
My joints thank me.
My heart thanks me.
Life is a lot more enjoyable after you tell the truth.
After you start understanding yourself more. (without judgement)
After you address that your perception of the world was solely built on protecting yourself.
You can start to shift your mindset.
You can start to nurture those wounds.
You can start to breathe regularly.
You can stop taking shit personally.
You can start handling pressure like a fucking boss.
You can do that for yourself.
I did that for me and the security, space and communication skills I’ve developed as a result?