Does early childhood trauma make someone more prone to subsequent trauma? Maybe. If not, we were simply unlucky.
For sure, our traumas have had a cumulative effect on us. PTSD.
At 12 or 13, we were the victim of what today they might call a hate crime. The police acted quickly and told us the perpetrators would not harm us again.
The police were wrong.
By then, because of what other people had done to our body, we believed that worst-case scenarios were not only possible; they were likely.
So we accepted the renewed violence. If escalated violence was what you got once the police were involved, we imagined reporting this subsequent violation would get us more escalation. More violence.
Due to ability to dissociate and due to our experience surviving other forms of abuse and neglect (and having been beaten up more than typical for the age), we concluded we could survive the escalated violence.
What a terrible conclusion for a child to reach.
We felt epically alone, powerless and unworthy of protection. Unprotectable. Undefended. Too much trauma. Under attack.
That makes us sad. No one had our back. Not police, parents, sibling, cousins.
Tonight those flashbacks were strong. (No therapy today.)
So we talked to Spouse, who played therapist. Thanks, Puppy.
The sunset was pretty tonight. That gave us compassion, that we could find something outside people that was dependable.
We texted therapist to make sure we were still connected. Therapist said yes. We see therapist tomorrow.
We took medication as prescribed and avoided conflict (psst, Younger Child is a teen) by removing ourself or ignoring.
With a new sunrise, we will try to allow a new day. The X-factor: dreams.
We don’t relax in sleep. We remain vigilant in our dreams: muscles tense, ready to fight or flee or freeze.
Let’s not beat ourselves up for how we might suffer. Let’s let the meds calm us, the family love us, and try to keep compassion flowing. Internal validation is the most crucial for us.
Don’t blame 13-year-olds for how they choose to survive. Praise them. Love them. We are them. We want to teach them how to be safe.
Thank you for walking with us on this journey. You don’t have to have our back. Seeing you beside us is comforting.