“I Will Pray for You”- Why that Triggers my Anxiety

I met with my Pastor yesterday and he gave me some insight and some hard challenges. I will talk more about it when I am up for it but right now I will just keep it brief. One of the things that has always caused anxiety for me is my Trigger words that take me back to my Spiritual force fed abuse from my mother (that I still get).

My pastor gave me the challenge to think of a new happy memory and attach it to those words, give the word either a new meaning or say something different completely. He explained to me that every word we know, that I know, is neutral. We attach, I attach, specific meanings and memories to it.

For example, some words I cannot stand to hear. It urks me, it makes my blood boil and hatred to rise up in me. One of those words is PRAY. I hate that word. When I think of PRAY I think of the hypocrisy people use (my mother included) to “pray for you”. Some of the meanest people say that, “Well bless your heart, I will pray for you.” When you have done nothing wrong. I feel that there is a double meaning attached to that word and it isn’t meant to be sincere.

Instead of saying pray, prayer, praying.. I will refer it to as “talking to God” or “talk to Him”. That is essentially what I am doing anyways. I am just taking out the trigger word. Even just typing the word or thinking of the memories attached to the word “pray” makes me want to punch someone.

That is all the brain power I have today. I am hoping to make a list of words that trigger me in the next couple posts… but the issue with that is I don’t like being triggered. lol

Sundays are a Trigger

I have until July 1st to see my therapist so time is precious. She told me a story about how when you talk about old wounds in a safe place and work through them & the emotions it brings to you- you are cleaning your abscess.

Abscesses are wounds within the skin full of pus and without proper treatment, they grow inside you destroying more flesh and causing more pain. But when an abscess is treated, the doctor has to go in and remove all the toxins, pus, dead flesh and clean the wound. That leaves you with a huge, tender opened hole.

Sundays feel like that to me. I had to go to church every sunday and put a smile on my face. I had to hide the abuse, go through the ritual of sunday morning church, worship, tithe, notes, prayer, communion and more.

Now since my abscess has been cleaned out and I have cut out the poison in my life- I had a huge triggers aka open holes when it comes to my Christian beliefs, sundays, prayer and worship. You would think that once you deal with pain and the emotional turmoil that you get better and feel better. My reality is I actually trigger easier, have migraines, I get so mentally exhausted and my nightmares are worse/more frequent.

I confronted my therapist about this. I am so puzzled as to why I FEEL more things. I used to just be numb and stuff things down inside of me. Now I am feeling every emotion all at once sometimes. With her soft smile and warm eyes she told me that she is proud of me.

I had to check me ears. Excuse me? You said you are proud of me? Have you been listening to the stories I have just been telling you? I feel worse! I trigger more easily and I am so exhausted anymore. How can you be proud of me when I feel so horrible, overwhelmed and just guilty for not being able to even say a full prayer for more than 10 seconds?!

My therapist simply smiled at me again. “Have you felt the need to self harm?” I looked at her blankly for a second. I answered no and that kind of surprised myself actually. I always turn to self harm when  I get overwhelmed and I hadn’t thought about that once recently when it used to be an everyday thought. She told me it is because I am allowing myself to feel my emotions and go through it.

It is like the default way I deal with things is to cut and stuff. Since I have turned away from those as a natural response- I am now no longer numb, depressed and stuffing. I am feeling, vulnerable, experiencing and dealing. That is why she is proud of me. Realizing that- I am proud of myself. It takes hard work to be in this place. It takes even harder work to allow yourself to feel.

I just can’t wait until my open sore is healed for good.

Little Poison Stings

I went to my 2nd therapy session yesterday nervous, anxious and excited. I love going to therapy because I love reflecting on questions that challenge me. I also am nervous about what will be talked about because I have noticed therapy can be a trigger. I would rather bury all the memories and emotions then go through them one by one. I worry about how I will feel afterwards. Will have nightmares, will I be too irritable or be trigger to self harm? Yesterday’s session was really good. No nightmares, not a lot of irritability and no self harming. 🙂

We are going through the initial paperwork so my therapist/counselor can get an idea of what I have been through and possible treatment plans. I do have to say my anxiety doesn’t feel like it is flowing over the top all the time anymore. It is only unbearable when a trigger has been flipped in my mind. I am trying to rely on God more and focus on what to be thankful for. I am also walking our dogs around where we live to get my mind off of things and to exercise but not to do it alone. If I were to exercise alone- that would be a trigger.

This blog is helping me a lot. I have been able to channel what I want to say publicly without having the consequences of unmasking my identity.Plus I have the freedom to write about whatever I want. In my previous blog I titled it The Broken Record because with my m.’s actions it feels that way BUT I also feel like a broken record. For years I have spoke on and explained things that have happened in my life. My loop of emotions and what I feel I must talk about. I keep talking and feeling the same things. I am stuck in a sand hole without a way to climb out.

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During my 1 hour session I gave the counselor some emails that have really hurt me from my m. one from Easter which I talk about in The Broken Record, and also one that uninvited me from this past Christmas. She told me she was able to see how my m. sends and uses her poison. The empathy I see in my counselor’s face as she reads the emails is so comforting. I’m not used to people “getting it” or understanding my side or feelings at all. I am used to family scolding me for my feelings and denying they are real.

I received a phone call before Easter from a family member who didn’t like what I would say about my m. I tried to confide in her about my emotions and tell her the stories. Instead, the family member viewed it as if I was hating on someone that was so nice, sweet and someone she really looked up to. Well she called me this past weekend and apologized for everything. Which is HUGE! My heart was so overjoyed with this news. Not only did she apologize but she said that she can understand/see how I feel.

She is a very sweet hearted woman and wouldn’t go into too much detail after that. With her phone conversation I realized something very important. The relationship I build with her, my sisters, and other family members from that side do not need to be pulled into the middle of this. But rather be loved, and cherish and build a relationship with them. I don’t need to prove that my trauma was real to anyone.

All my life I have tried to latch on to family members from that side to “open their eyes” about my m. To try and get some conformation that I wasn’t crazy and to tell them everything that happened behind closed doors. I even wrote a 1/2 of a journal writing examples to my sisters to give to them one day but now I realize that was all in vain. I need to build the relationship with others for what it is and not use them to make myself feel better. My intentions are good but that would place anyone in an awkward position.

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Enough is enough. I am not longer giving my m. the dominating control of my life. I no longer speaking about it to other family members. I am no longer going to harbor or stuff my emotions down. I am going to deal with it privately and get better. I am deleting the emotional control she has over me.

My counselor said that her emails are the way she injects a little poison at a time in me. It is one avenue she has control over me. I no longer respond to her emails because it is a worthless fight. She doesn’t comprehend or care about what she does to me. The counselor asked me what would happen if I were to block her emails. I just sat there wondering, “But what if I miss something that is loving, what if she apologizes, or what if she invites me back in and I miss it?” Without even hearing my thoughts the woman with the clipboard said, “You have to realize every time your m. contacts you- it is poison. Like a little poison injection each and every time she emails you or contacts you. She uses shame, religion, lies and twisting the truth as her manipulation. There are relationships that are good to have in your life, and then there are relationships that are toxic. She is a toxic relationship to you. Every time she contacts you it is toxic.”

For some reason hearing those words gave me clarity. She is totally right. My mother is toxic. And with that being said I have realized that every email ever sent to me is toxic as well. It always hurts. I am hoping for a loving mother to come one day and just sweep me up, owe up to everything she has done and to drop the mask. I am done waiting and I am done with the hurt. I am ready to get and to be better. I moved her email address to spam- so I will not even be notified when she sends me an email. I feel empowered already.