The little niggle in the back of my mind that often resurfaces in difficult times is not that of the events in my life that have caused me trauma.
It isn't even the trauma itself. The creature that burns through my thoughts when I can no longer release enough tears to drown it is after the fact.
Say a loved one dies. There is a funeral. People generally respond with kindness, affection and caring. As you process the trauma I'm sure your thoughts fall to coping and looks for how people have responded to you to figure out how you will respond to you.
Now let's say you were late for work and got scolded. No one will show you kindness here. Let's say you were late three times. People are resentful and might challenge you on it. Now, imagine that this upsets you and you forget you've parked in the wrong spot and get a ticket. Horrible day but it's doable for some. You go home you get a drink you feel better. This works. Once. Sometimes twice. Never sustainably.
What if you were abused?
What if, you are abused your entire childhood and no one noticed? What if you ran for help and they abused you worse? Where would your self-esteem go to for coping strategies? Stick to what you know? Now imagine having a child with someone you love and it being the best thing that ever happened to you, being free of those situations. Imagine changing your life for the better, choosing a career! It won't be easy, you will have to work 70+ hours a week for 3 weeks walking 3 miles each way for it mind. Imagine the peace of the last day at your old job and the begining of a new. Then imagine your tiredness as you come across a horrific accident on the way home from work where a lady has crushed her legs in the road. Then imagine getting back late and putting a bottle of whiskey on the side and saying tonight we earned this. Imagine a blissful night with your partner. The passion, the relief, the 5am phone call where your mother shrieks that your brother is dead. He killed himself.
Imagine the pressure on your family tearing it in two. Imagine buying a motorbike with the money he leaves you then imagine a chance attack by a group of teenagers that destroys it.
Imagine the sadness and old dark thoughts. Imagine choosing therapy and trying to break old patterns.
Then being honest with your now wife, brother didn't make it to the wedding, and telling her, finally telling someone that you self harm.
Imagine she leaves you.
Then imagine...imagine that no one else was there. Not even your mom.