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  • davikath8

Recovering from Trauma: Competence Is A Muscle That Only Gets Stronger

Updated: Jul 1, 2023

It has been quite fortuitous for me, in my ongoing recovery from trauma, having a long-term commitment to someone not given to practicalities, details, directions, and preparation. The person I love and who loves me seems rather oblivious to the obstacles that need to be surmounted for daily living: food, bills, furniture, taxes, garbage cans, and watered plants. These things I deliver, and it is my pleasure to deliver them. He is grateful. He takes it for granted that I am competent and will do the right thing, whether I am writing an email or applying for a mortgage or for citizenship in a new country.

I come from a family, particularly from a father, aided and abetted by a mother, who eroded my competence and my confidence. Everything I did was wrong. Everything I said was wrong. Everything I felt was wrong. My very person was nothing but a mistake, a nuisance, an unfortunate pain that must be controlled, ignored, and when the difficulty I presented persisted, absolutely ruined.

The disability inflicted on me by my family of origin lasted for decades, further reinforced by doctors, bosses, acquaintances, and colleagues. I was a broken appliance made of flesh. I was a miserable blight that was doomed to uselessness and inactivity.

I have been building myself back since 2017. Giving up my pharmaceuticals and my need for validation from anyone but myself. Competence is a muscle that I exercise in innumerable ways every day. I go and do and see and achieve. I have enough foresight for an army, but I am content to plan for us, our family of two, and for a few more people who also appreciate my efforts.

Everything I once feared to do, I have done.

Every doubt I have had about myself, I have conquered.

So although I sometimes get discouraged and fatigued, I carry on. The world continues to fascinate, so the journey continues. There remains uncharted territory, and after many years of lack and deprivation, I possess both energy and desire.

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