Trusting while healing trauma…
As someone with childhood trauma, it’s already hard to trust. Not just with relationships but anything or anyone. The trusting skill was never built. Instead you learn not to trust anything or anyone as a survival tactic.
When you start your journey on healing and then someone comes in and makes you put those survival walls up again, it’s disheartening.
Always trying to give myself that feeling of safety.
When I really started my healing journey in 2018 I started going to a local psychiatry office in New York. At first I was unsure but I knew I desperately needed it because my body and mind couldn’t take the constant battles anymore.
I was at one of the most vulnerable times in my life. I couldn’t simply wake up in the morning without instant panic attacks that was debilitating and so frequent, the only thing I did every single day the moment my eyes opened was concentrate on not dying. It was severe.
The first time I had ever left my children. My kids never went to babysitters, stayed over night somewhere and was only not with me while they were in school, except for the youngest who wasn’t in school at all at the time.
I was so emotional, so lonely in my head, so lost, so panicked, so determined to not die.
To clarify, I wasn’t actually dying, physically at least. But panic attacks make you feel like you are about to. The awful physical and mental feeling.
I was vulnerable.
I did both medication and weekly counseling for awhile. I think the only thing that kept me from not going there, or at least that specific place, was when Covid hit and we did virtual sessions.
This was because although I loved my counselors and will forever be grateful for both of the ones I had there, I was re-traumatized by the physicians assistant in that office. Having virtual sessions still allowed me to see my counselor who I liked, but I didn’t have to go into the office and be re-traumatized every time I had to go in.
He used my vulnerability and used many others vulnerabilities that went to him as well. I let my survival wall down because I wanted to live. I wanted help and I needed help.
You see, my panic attacks were so bad, things around me would go on “without me“ in a sense because my mind was so focused and so concentrated on not dying, not passing out, breathing… just surviving.
Around early 2020, a news article in our area we had lived in at the time was released about a local physician assistant arrested for forcible touching. (See article below)
I decided to contact the detective working the case. I didn’t know the details of what had happened with the forcible touching other than what was in the article but I recalled going through an encounter that was very uncomfortable with this same person.
I called and gave the details of the encounter of what happened between myself and this physician assistant. I told them, I’m not for sure if it’ll help, but I felt compelled to at least say something.
At this point is when I realized my encounter with this physician assistant wasn’t ethically appropriate at all. But I was so focused on healing my past trauma that still consumed me and getting by day by day, I thought that this encounter was me overreacting. I thought it was normal for them to go up your shirt with a stethoscope.
It was uncomfortable because I wasn’t wearing a bra. I avoided bras as much as possible during this time because they made me feel suffocated even more during panic attacks. Again, everything I did was to avoid feeling like I was dying, as well as trying my best to not have one.
So he went up my shirt from behind at first with the stethoscope, but then went around to the front while still under my shirt. I did my breathing to remain calm even though it was highly uncomfortable because I was trying to avoid another panic attack.
What I had realized was that this was the common tactic he used on his vulnerable patients to take advantage of them.
Then another article came out…
I was disgusted. I didn’t know how to process. I honestly was mad at myself in a way. Mad at myself at the time for being so focused on healing instead of surviving. Telling myself if I wouldn’t have been trying to heal, I would have protected myself. I would have not fallen victim AGAIN!
It traumatizing all over again. Why can’t you just protect yourself? Why can’t you just give yourself that security?
I knew I still needed to heal though. That I couldn’t just live like this carrying all this trauma, pain and hurt for the rest of my life. But how?
I decided to write this because despite my continued healing efforts of my trauma, I realized I still haven’t been addressing this. To myself even. That I needed to address this part because it re-traumatized me so it is important to see to it as well.
One thing I will say, as a survivor, it’s hard just knowing that your perpetrator is out there in this world still amongst people. Not that you want revenge on them. But you always are trying to protect others. Thinking about who else they’re going to do this to. Wanting to be their savior when you didn’t have that. My perpetrator from childhood is still free, walking amongst people. It’s hard constantly feeling like you’ll run into them somewhere. This physician assistant was “processed” and just let go to appear in court because New York’s new laws protect criminals more than victims. Still continuing to work at the office he was employed at for a little while after the arrest even. My current counselor at that time quit working there because of that. Because of how it was handled. And that was hard as well because of the relationship I built with that counselor.
I felt disappointed in myself. Even though I shouldn’t have been, I was. Because trauma plays games with your emotions, your self esteem, your love and belonging for yourself.
When you get targeted during your healing journey, it makes it hard to get back up over and over again. To want to trust again. But most importantly, I need to trust MYSELF.
We shouldn’t feel as if our healing is less important because we need to survive. Because survival is also about truly living and loving yourself.
I’m still healing ❤️🩹. One day at a time.