The Trauma Letters

While I am always willing to discuss my mental health, simply because I hate the stigma surrounding it, I do not discuss my trauma.  Most people who have suffered such do not like to talk about it as it can be triggering for their PTSD, because all trauma leaves its mark.  It’s a scar that you have to live with. 

Here is the long list of people I discuss my trauma with: my therapist.

So, on Wednesday, we’re talking, and she tells me that I should write some letters.  As a writer, I am intrigued.  As a human, I think this is a little cliché.  Still, I listen to her suggestions.  She says that it can be soothing to get all the feelings out.  Then you can either send the letter or destroy it.  Apparently burning things is cathartic, too.

I went home and I realized I’ve done this before.  I pulled up the letters I have written, and I read them.  I realized that they are flawed, because they lack what she tells me is my hidden problem: rage.  I am angry, outrageously so, and I have never had an opportunity to express that anger.  I feel scammed out of an emotion.

When I was younger, I encountered a situation in which I was told my feelings were not valid.  I was told to shut that shit down ASAP, and it left a terrible emotional scar, making me feel like all my emotions were unacceptable.  I still feel the effects of that today, as I peck out this angry little letter and think to myself “but I’m being so mean…”  But maybe mean is necessary sometimes. 

The letters I wrote were all explanatory, and expressed both difficult emotions and those I feel comfortable with, but there was no anger, and there was no pain, and I can’t ignore those things.  So right now, I am trying to write my anger away, and I don’t know where that will lead.

Will I send my letters?  I don’t know.  I want to, really, but I probably won’t.  I will likely leave them to rot on my computer until I am dead, because confrontation isn’t my thing.  Do I wish I could send them?  Of course.  But I am ruled by fear and anxiety, as I always have been.  Maybe someday those forces will become less intrusive in my life, but that day is not today.  Today I will write my letter, and I am sure I will have some residual feelings throughout the afternoon, but I will tuck it away with the others because I still have trouble embracing my anger.  Eventually I will learn to fix it and start to heal, because that’s what therapy is for, right?

One thought on “The Trauma Letters

  1. This makes perfect sense. I totally agree with this assessment. Rage is hard! Anger is easier, when we can feel it is justifiable. I think many people associate anger with hate (maybe I’m many people?) But they aren’t necessarily tied. Anger is necessary, it triggers us into action. It reminds us of our values, boundaries, where WE draw the line, for ourselves. Growing up in this family, I remember the first time I realized that MY feelings, thoughts, opinions COULD BE DIFFERENT. We did not all have to believe the same things. I used to think “this is just how WE are”.
    Liberating (Validating?) to know (remember?) there’s a ME in that WE and I’m important too.
    Your writing helps others. I love you!

    Liked by 2 people

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