That smell. The reoccurring stale axe fragrance. His disapproving smile appears smeared on many random strangers’ faces. Even after all this time.
The limited height is given to a man, through his mighty but small build. The sound of his feet touching the floor combines with the act of dragging his feet along the tile flooring. All of this fluctuating through thin air pins my spirits and blocks my progression.
Why does he still bother me? This was so long ago. Why do I care anymore? Why can’t I let it go?
After thirteen years, I continue to be blocked by certain smells, certain faces, words, and appearances. The idea of him controlling me continues to suffocate every inch of breath in my body. And yet, here I am. Sitting in a bed trying to wind down. Why is that? And does time really heal such invasive wounds?
I’ve asked myself this question many times. And after searching for a long time, I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that it does not.
Time does not heal your wounds… you do.
Time provides you with the space to breathe and the ability to reshape your understanding, but it does not heal your wounds. For years I’ve run from this feeling, from the understanding of abuse and what it does to your mental and physical body.
But no more. Running only prolongs suffering. Without acknowledging that pain, you’ll forever be running, just like I am.
In ways of conditioning, I tried a few successful steps. Here are the ones that work for me.
1: Acknowledge and accept the emotions.
This will reshape your understanding of emotions and can help shift your thoughts into something more powerful.
Example: “This smell is triggering me… and that is okay.” Tell yourself how you are being triggered and be in the stage of checking where you are.
2: Appreciate the emotions.
What do you mean I’m allowed to cry and feel the pain? Doesn’t that make me weak? No.
It makes you strong and in touch with your own being. This eventually leads you to your purpose and will continue to guide you into a world of the unknown.
Example: Do what you feel like you need to do at the moment and be in the moment. Be there to give yourself the self-love you’re so desperately craving.
3: Feel the emotions.
Check in with yourself, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Feel the emotions within your body and understand how your body reacts. Ask your body to show you what it needs and LISTEN. I promise it knows more than you think it does.
Example: When I started connecting to my body, the pain showed in the random spots I couldn’t even imagine. Each person holds emotion, stress, anxiety, and trauma all in different spots. Check in with yourself and breathe through the emotions.
4: Mentally (or physically) record the reactions.
Progress is always positive. When you record and understand the emotional reactions, you can prepare your body, mind, and soul for the next occurrence.
Each feeling is valuable and helps us heal, but only if we put in the work. If we are committed to growth and understanding, we can heal ourselves with time.
We may not have control over what happens to us, but we have control over what we do in all situations.
Listen to your body and connect it to your mind.
Allow yourself the freedom to accept, acknowledge, appreciate, feel, and record your emotions. You deserve at least that.