dating · emotional abuse · journalling

When Attachment Trauma Is Triggered…

tw: suicidal ideation, trauma

…it feels like the end of the world

It might show up as an onslaught of tears that just won’t stop. It might mean numbness, spiralling, dissociation. It might mean navigating the world stone-faced, through a grey lens, unfocused but also hyperfocused: unfocused on the world around us but hyperfocused on our pain.

…beliefs of unworthiness are reinforced

Well of course it’s ended. Of course they don’t want me. I’m nothing. I’m too much. I’m not enough. I’m a liability, too difficult to love. I’m damaged. I’m needy, I’m clingy, I’m never satisfied.

…it all feels hopeless

If anyone was going to actually tolerate me, it would’ve been them. If they don’t want me, no one else ever will. There is no point trying anymore. I’m a nightmare. It’s not in my path to actually be loved and cherished and cared for. Companionship isn’t something I’m ever truly going to experience. No one will have my children. I will never settle down and marry like a normal person – love is not meant for me.

…i plummet into darkness

This is it now. This is the last time. This is the last rock bottom. I sleepwalk into a supermarket to buy some razors and alcohol. If this is life, I frankly don’t care to live it. I was never meant to be happy. I was meant to set an example. Maybe the world will heal as I perish. Maybe people will finally listen.

…i am suddenly alone in the world

How can I explain that a relationship of 4 weeks ending has driven me to despair? How do I make anyone understand why this feels so awful? No one will understand. This is a battle I am fighting alone.

…i feel completely vulnerable

I feel like I’ve been deceived, used and hung up to dry – and that is a feeling that is far too close to home. Anything even remotely resembling gaslighting or deception makes me feel like I am right back where I was last year – falling in love with someone who isn’t real. Falling in love alone. Making promises with a person who doesn’t exist. The feeling of it being real and tangible for me and a flippant game for somebody else. My heart aches so much it might stop beating. In my heart and mind, I am right back in the realms of abuse.

…i feel ashamed

I know the situation doesn’t warrant this waterfall of tears and the makeup stains on your pillowcase, but believe me when I say it’s not on purpose. The same way I couldn’t stop my throat from bleeding if you slashed it – I simply cannot stop these tears. It’s not emotional blackmail – it’s abandonment wounds. I must seem crazy, unhinged, unstable. If you didn’t seriously want me before, you certainly won’t want me now.

…it feels unfair

If men hadn’t toyed with my sensitive soul in the first place, I wouldn’t be crying. There would be no trauma to trigger, no abandonment wound to send me into despair. It’s not my fault. But the burden to carry is mine. It reflects on me. I am the one in and out of therapy, on antidepressants. I am the one who presents as somewhat of a liability to whatever man I meet – but I am this way because of how men have treated me.

This post pertains to a discussion I had over a week ago. I was in a bad way. Currently, I am feeling a bit calmer and sought the support of friends and family. I thought it was important to highlight the extent to which attachment trauma and emotional abuse can affect people; to shine a light and also validate myself. Some people would say that if I am being so triggered within the realm of dating then I shouldn’t be dating. It’s my belief, however, that these wounds can only be healed in the context of a loving relationship. A loving relationship that I am completely worthy and deserving of – whether I’m dealing with mental illness or not.

Thanks for reading.

-philomenah ❤

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