It finally happened. What I think I would call my worst nightmare. Y’all, I am open with my struggle. I have been on the news, podcasts, and spread my message across the country. It is not a mystery that I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, I blog about it all of the time. However, I never truly knew if that individual knew about my work. I never cared to know, just hoped that the day would never come that I would need to face the situation.
But here it was, right in my face. I see his name come across my screen in the chatbox as I ask for participation in my presentation. The flood of fear, emotions, the heart racing, did I mention the fear? Would this person make a comment and invalidate my feelings as it had been done before in the past? I wished this day would never come, and now that it was here, I could not calm my brain. I kept tripping over my words. I was triggered, emotionally triggered by the trauma this all brought up for me. I couldn’t wait to be done, couldn’t wait to just crawl into my bubble, away from the truth that lay before me.
And to that person, if you are reading this. I don’t care. I genuinely mean that. After 4 hours of agonizing over what happened, I remembered that no matter what that person thinks about me, my work, or my experience of my story, it doesn’t matter. Because I am changing lives. I am creating a company so successful that I have hired a part-time employee and can support myself through and through. I have spread my wings and I have flown, something I couldn’t do in that last relationship.
I took the time to feel how I was feeling. And it was a pretty terrible feeling. But I practiced my self-care, I talked about it to my husband, my friends and parents. I did this new technique I am trying called EFT Tapping and I repeated to myself “I am embarrassed and angry, but I still love and accept myself”, and it helped. I remembered that I let this person have power over me for too long, but no more. I have grown so much. And then I danced, and I felt empowered and I wanted to write about it. Because I know others might encounter someone in their lives who brings up past traumas for them, and I want you to know it might suck, you might get triggered by your trauma. It may have power over you, but keep loving yourself anyway.
I was triggered emotionally. It was difficult, and I began second-guessing my experiences. But no matter what your experience was, it was and is important. Someone might have experienced it differently than you and may even use it against you, but your experience is still valid and worthy. Never forget that.
So to that person, thank you for coming on tonight, for a split second I almost let you win. But I have grown too much for that. The trauma from my past may always haunt me, but I will never let my past or a person take away my sense of self-worth again. I have worked too hard for that. I may have messed up tonight countless times because the reminder of trauma threw me off, but I will only grow from this and use this to continue to fuel my passion. I truly believe everything happens for a reason, so thank you. This was given to me, to help me to continue to grow and help others, who experience resurfaced traumas.
And you will grow too from your pain and your past. You are not alone. I know it can feel scary if people from your past come up and remind you of your trauma, but we are in this together. Reach out, speak up, and know it’s okay to struggle. That motto saved me yet again tonight.