Spring's full bloom is a guessing game where we live.The sun is teasing us one day while actual snow, yes snow, flirts with us like an old lover who hasn't fully let go yet.
What's not up for speculation is how I've been feeling lately. Like I have come out of hibernation. Not the seasonal or annual kind. But the kind that feels like I have been in for a lifetime.
As we are all creatures of pattern, I too have repeated patterns of friendships in my life. As I recently found out,I have been merely reacting out of un-diagnosed and untreated C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and calling it 'fate'. I will be talking A LOT about it now that I am not only aware, but also getting the treatment I need with a kick ass trauma specialist who is helping change my brain patterns for the better.
You have no idea, MANY of us suffer from it. It is a silent evil in our community especially among women.
This blog post is NOT about CPTSD or my journey with it. Not this one. This is about female friendships and what I am experiencing as my awareness is shifting around why I acted from the places I acted from in the past. Maybe you will relate, maybe you won't. We shall see.
Tell me. Have you lost a friend? Maybe you live under a rock and away from other rocks and you haven't? You may stop reading. But if you have, like me, repeatedly experienced the agonizing pain of losing a female friend, what is the deal with it not having its own unique name? Hello? Like, a frienkup ( friendship breakup) or something? I mean, it hurts as bad if not more!
I had always wondered why I repeated those patterns , blamed others for a while and then knew I was the common denominator so took the blame myself although blindly.
And now, JACKPOT!
As a result of a childhood filled with chronic stressful environments, surrounded by dysfunctional adult relationships, emotionally disconnected and sometimes abusive parent figures, harsh punishment, shaming, rejection, financial insecurity and little to no boundaries, me and others exhibiting CPTSD symptoms experienced stunted emotional growth while growing up, lost a sense of agency and survival became our goal where we remained hyper vigilant and in a state of defensive threatened state.
It amazes me how I was misdiagnosed for the years and years of working on may mental health with all the symptoms of CPTSD that seem all too clear now in hindsight. But in the world of mental health, a lot of things do look like a lot of other things. So, GRACE!
The harsh inner critic that made me a people's pleaser in friendships, the black and white thinking that meant I or someone else had to be either "all good" or "all bad", not allowing for grey, the toxic feelings of shame and unworthiness that made me see myself less than my friends with no proof whatsoever, obsessing over how others thought of me and how conversations went as I replay them in my head constantly, the relentless needs to be seen as perfect, abandoning myself and not having boundaries in friendships while resenting the friend for it, the need to be chronically productive as a source of worth..... am I stepping on anyone's toes yet?
Better late than never, cliche but so true for me. For the work I am doing to heal my fragmented self is giving me whole new level of whole.
I now have the mind and heart unity that is ready to, when appropriate for me, pick up the phone and call estranged friends, extend an olive branch for ghosted contacts whom I judged, whose actions I took personally, got triggered by and reacted to instead of regulating myself. Because for the first time In my life, my wholeness does not depend on external factors including what their responses may or may not be.
The spring of my lifetime I call this season I'm in.
Serendipity would have it, I had a healing conversation with a good friend of mine a few days ago. A conversation that would've been torturous to the ego. She opened up about how disappointed she was that I had not updated her on how I was doing after she had stuck by me through a difficult patch in my life. We are both consciously healing women, so we both listened, validated, understood and connected. We HEALED each other.
What if we can ALL do that?
Come on a little journey of imagination with me. Imagine all of us women recognized the traumatized parts in ourselves. The fragmented little girl who is scared shitless and is therefore acting out, running away, freezing, fighting or flighting whenever the going gets tough. The one that gets triggered, annoyed or jealous when a sister or friend becomes successful or gets noticed, dresses up and looks beautiful, makes a change for the better, decides to go against our advice. Imagine we heal it in ourselves and SEES another woman's trauma when we see it. Imagine we listen to her, not to respond but to understand, to be an empathetic witness to her pain, as it mirrors ours. Imagine we connect with her where she expects us to find her lacking.
Serredepity would repeat it, I found this painting walking around a thrift store looking for a puppy crate. Yes we got a puppy. No we haven't lost our minds.
But look at these beautiful healing women...healing.
Until Next week Unchainers,