We all question ourselves. We all have doubts as much as we have hopes and dreams.
Sometimes the question is as simple as ‘what shall I wear?‘ Or it can be a little more complex, with questions like “am I ready to apply for that job?”
Trauma and products of (ex anxiety) can make answering the simplest question a strategic meeting between the many halves of your mind. Each one assuming they know the worst and should be ignored, nobody wanting to lead and take the responsibility because every last one lives in fear of failure.
Each person in the meeting has a unique response to their fear. Some cut their skin open with the scissors, others hide away ne’er the table, some just cry in a corner and one or two just shut down completely and lay on the floor motionless and unresponsive.
Each person within the mind is unique and each one a a story to tell. They were all moulded and formed differently by the different people and situations they have encountered.
The mind of a traumatised person, or any person with mental and cognitive dysfunction, is the most disorganised and frustrating meeting you can hope to attend.
For me, deciding what to wear is a trauma in itself. If I dress to revealing, our patriarchal dominated society may judge me and scold me. I don’t want anyone else to harm me because of what I am wearing. Wearing the wrong thing leads to rape.
Putting the bins out is a huge test. I must avoid any number of neighbours, not attract the attention of passing dogs or noisy birds, be dressed in a certain way in case I am delayed and prepared for the event of a polite and unwanted conversation. The 30 second excursion is a stress. I don’t want to say the wrong thing and be judged and ridiculed by the entire housing estate because I’m ‘mental.’
Deciding whether I want to attempt education again and better myself keeps me awake. It pesters me throughout the day, tick-tocking in my mind, reminding me I’m a screw up and a coward and a failure and no one loves me and if I try and fail again I might as well give up on life. But if I don’t try at all I’m lazy, worthless and should most definitely kill myself; perhaps by drinking the bleach I’ll be using to clean the toilets, that I’ll spend the rest of my uneducated life looking down.
My mind is relentless. Every decision takes in to account others actions and thoughts. Every choice I make feels like a land mine. All that I do risks leading back to beatings, berating.
I don’t feel safe in the world. I don’t even feel safe within my mind. It is chaotic and dramatic, untrustworthy and mocking at best.
How does one sift through the mayhem of their anxiety? It’s not something we are taught to do. It’s not something you learn in therapy. It’s something some people just seem to do, so it appears easy but it’s not is it? I mean, it can’t be easy, for anybody by any standard, to define what’s real and what’s not. What’s safe and what’s risk. What’s right and wrong, what’s yours and what’s societies, what’s growth and what’s stifling.
Then this in itself leaves the very dark question; how much of me, is even mine?…