Recently, I had a new friend divulge some pretty personal mental anguish and family issues over dinner. After telling me what was troubling him he apologized instinctively, as if there were something wrong with sharing our issues. What made this observation important is the hesitation we have to discuss issues which are affecting us emotionally.
Suicide rates are reaching all time highs in the US, the UK, New Zealand and a plethora of other countries, which means mental fatigue is a leading cause of death. I think it’s time to start talking about what is really bothering us in our discussions with one another.
On my blog I try really hard to break down this barrier by using my own troubling experiences and sharing them with you all in the hopes I can create change in the conversations we have. Societal shame is such an interesting topic and has undoubtedly shaped the way each and every one of us evaluate circumstances in addition to our perspective on topics such as health care, gender inequality, domestic violence, slut shaming— I mean the list can go on and on, just inert your struggle here and it is applicable.
For me, I went many years suffering physical abuse at the hands of my ex-fiancé, being belittled in front of people and behind closed doors. When I was isolated on a boat I was regularly assaulted and told it was my fault, often told “I was never like this before I met you.” Of course, the emotional mind fuck this self-blame created (it was intentional) had me reeling for months after I left him. However, through a bit of research I found out he had a pattern of abuse. While i may have hurt for a while, my future is much brighter– abusers don’t change, they just change victims.
As a result of strangling, punches, slaps, kicks and shoves, oh and being thrown off of boats as a bonus, I was terrified to be touched by anyone. The only time I was able to sexually engage with anyone was whenI had a drink. This was a problem as I was trying my best to give up alcohol. So my sobriety enabled PTSD to be less subdued and more prominent in my day to day life, sometimes you NEED to feel so you can move forward, sobriety was a necessity, sex was not.
Despite wanting to date and having more options than an all you can eat buffet, I was afraid to allow anyone near me. A friend would try to adjust my diving mask and I pulled away and nearly started crying, I was used to a hand near my face being violent, never gentle. Regular PTSD set in whenever anyone crossed my barrier, which let me tell you made for wonderful discussion when I pulled away from friends with my eyes bulged out of my head.
So, when we have issues like this in our life how do we heal? For me, massage therapy was one of the greatest ways to overcome the fear of human touch again. Zone Spa Gili Air in addition to Paradise Point Massage & Spa Tagbilaran while I was in the Philippines has helped me become accustomed and accepting to human touch again. Whether or not you have been physically assaulted is not really pertinent. Studies have shown that human touch can heal people in ways that modern medicine is still unable to replicate.
If you’ve healed from trauma with an alternative methods please share with me! This blog is a safe place for all people and their experiences. I share my own with all of you not for attention, but to try and break down barriers that society has put up as to what is and is not acceptable to discuss.