The Backlog of Feeling Post Abuse
Grief demands to be felt, and it will scour the ends of the earth to discover ways in which it can be. Creating patterns of opportunity, illness, burn out for the despair to be released from its cage instead of trapped within a body that isn’t meant to harbour it long term. Residual impact from trauma is the same. When we are denied our natural, human, responses to process, due to the demand to survive through fight-or-flight, our responses do not just escape us. Instead, they lodge themselves inside of us and wait. To be felt, to be heard, to be believed...to be used to reclaim our autonomy.
We see this act of emotion being lodged inside us compounded by the continuous demand to enter fight-or-flight for many. So much so that this particular power (because it is a power) to survive becomes normalized and we forget what responding without it feels like. We forget what our own individual knowing, intuition, gut-instinct, and understanding feels like because we are forced to operate differently. It is also why we/society misinterpret coping mechanisms birthed from sustained fight-or-flight.
Feeling again is indeed different when you have a backlog of emotion that has been left unfelt waiting for you. Healthy emotion is meant to pass through us. However, when we are dealing with a backlog of emotion left unfelt it is different. This, healing, is different than living. It is a subcategory that becomes the main event if we have the unique opportunity to let it. Feeling again after enduring is experienced differently for everyone and differently every second. Sometimes silent, void, and apathetic. Other times it is noisy, confusing, overbearing, and dramatic. We are literally experiencing parts of ourselves that we never had the opportunity to live as because we had to survive instead. Those pieces are our treasure, and the experience of healing allows us to bring them home.
When humans are denied of their right to feel, we are denied of our autonomy and disconnected from our internal empowerment. Our connection to our mind, body, and soul become manipulated and distorted and survival takes over. This is a fascinating and stunning human ability, but it’s also something that holds immense lifelong consequence.
You are believed in your battle, and you are undoubted as you experience the consequences of it.
You are not alone, and this season doesn’t halt the work you’re demanded to do. Whatever it is. Even if it’s simply to survive. Trauma splits, trauma erodes, trauma silences and amplifies. It demands; both with cruelty and, when mixed with the option to grieve, it can also free us. Not erase, but pass through.
I believe you. Today is just another day if healing is your main act, and you are not alone in it.