Growing Out of Trauma and Into Health
Because my parents punished me every time I asserted myself, my nervous system continues to recoil every time I do so, even at the age of 52. Standing up for myself or others, asking for what is owed to me, demanding right action or a cessation of wrong action, sends my gut and my heart into contortions that they do not easily recover from.
I cannot eat. I can barely swallow. Breathe deserts me. Ease and comfort desert me. While reason assures me that I have done nothing wrong and that there is nothing wrong with me, my body boils with acid, my muscles clench like those of someone defending against the blows of an angry mob, and I feel pain and unease of an extent that makes me consider my own death with a certain relish.
But I know all too well that I am not to blame for these symptoms. When I consider how the people who gave birth to me crippled me, because I, their child, was a threat to their egos, their sense of self-importance, and their ridiculous sense of omnipotence, I hate them with an unequaled passion. I would like to transfer to their aging bodies the distress that their lousy choices continue to cause in me.
But no worries, I say to myself. I go on. I assert myself again and again. Today, tomorrow, and the next day. With practice, speaking and feeling and living for myself and those I care about and who care for me, become easier. Each day I commit myself to growing into a health my parents did not bestow and certainly did not foster. I am me, and becoming more fully me with every moment I breathe.