You feel damaged and don’t believe you are good enough.
It’s overwhelming to think about your past. Maybe there’s domestic violence, intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, relationships with people who’ve had mental illness, dismissive or intrusive parents/partners. Maybe you’ve had bouts of depression or struggled with feeling anxious all the time. Perhaps you’ve had suicidal thoughts or hurt yourself (by restricting your food, binging and purging, drinking, doing drugs, depleting your bank account, or cutting). You may even struggle with your sex life; regularly feeling uncomfortable, numb, or out of control. You try to justify your worth by working hard, being a good partner or parent, but it never seems to touch how unworthy you feel.
Emotions hit you hard and sometimes feel like they come out of nowhere.
You find your emotions extremely uncomfortable and you — quite frankly– wish you didn’t have them. You don’t understand the point of having emotions; you just want them under control. Sometimes you feel numb, disconnected from your feelings and maybe even your own body. But, hey, at least numb is easier to deal with than your internal critic who seems to show up whenever you’re at your lowest. Even worse, it’s hard to be happy because you expect something bad to happen to take it away again.
Relationships are difficult.
You put others first and take on more responsibility in the relationship because you fear others wouldn’t like you otherwise. You wonder if you’re a burden to others and it’s hard to ask for your needs. At the end of the day you don’t trust many people to show up for you and find yourself questioning if you can trust people to hear you without getting angry or defensive. So you edit yourself. It’s as though you believe “if I can just make myself small enough, polite enough, accomplished enough, maybe I will get people to love me.”
You wish you could just get over it.
Get over the anxiety. The depression. Get over what happened in the past. Maybe you ask yourself, “It’s been _____ number of years! Why is this still bothering me?” You tell yourself you’ll work on staying in the present, on being mindful, on gratitude, on journaling, on positive thinking. And still the past’s pain lurks.
You feel robbed of joy, happiness, and a normal life
It’s terrible feeling like you’re at war with yourself — having a feeling and then frustrated with yourself for feeling it. These problems cost you the intimate trusting relationships you want, and the feeling of self-worth you need.
Change is possible.
What happened in your past doesn’t have to rule your present or future. You can have trusting intimate relationships. You can learn to ride the waves of your emotions instead of feeling flooded by them.
I’m here to help.
As someone who’se worked with survivors of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and sexual abuse for over a decade these experiences are ones I’ve seen many times. I can help you feel worthy, accepted, and yes, put the feelings of the past behind you. Together we can heal your past traumas and see your emotions as valuable.
Call or email me to set up your free 20 minute consultation.