In 2020 long-repressed memories of abuse began to emerge. I approached my healing the way I approach everything else, with an unrelenting drive that made me sick.
Healing hurts. In my last post, I detailed how repressed memories feel, but recovery from them can feel worse. How do you know if it’s the good kind of pain, the lancing of a wound, or when it’s you digging around and making the infection worse?
I wanted to feel better, and I wanted to get over it, and I wanted to get on with my life, so I faced down too much at a rate that proved too fast for my body. I didn’t take care of myself. I stopped eating. I was working a very stressful job that was already taking a toll on my body. I drank water and ate ice instead of food, and when I did eat, it would be junk, whatever I could get my hands on, whatever might raise my dopamine levels, chocolate cake, mac and cheese, Pringles, and Twizzlers at midnight. Now, I’m anemic, which doesn’t sound like much, but for 18 months, I’ve felt tired, lightheaded, dizzy, and thirsty, with only a few hours of energy a day. And I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to stop or slow down, and you couldn’t tell me anything. Then, my husband filed for divorce in July, which was the final stressor that broke me. Finally, I stopped going to work; at the same time, I received a job offer that felt like a gift from God and one good thing that would carry me out of the hell I’d lived in for the last two years. But, let’s face it, I may be the architect of that hell. Aren’t we always? Perhaps. But I need a break from beating myself up.
Finally, I went to the doctor and got a full blood panel, a thing I found so stressful I broke out in hives. I’m not afraid of needles but medical procedures. A mammogram made me projectile vomit on my way home, and going to the dentist caused my body to start crying. I can’t explain it better than that. As the dentist probed my mouth, my eyes began watering, and my body heaving like I was crying, but I didn’t feel like crying; I didn’t have any feeling about it at all.
I believed it was a phase and my body that would catch up with my healing, and I would bounce back a better version of myself. After this diagnosis, however, I realize I need to slow down.
You may be wondering what I mean by “too fast.” I journaled about everything I…