Yesterday was a hard day. I had a lot to accomplish (and I did so) but I also had to work through being shut down and that wasn’t pretty. It was quite painful, in fact. But I did it. And now I get to take it all to therapy tomorrow and talk about why I shut down in the first place. This would normally get me down, but not today. Because despite the amount of pain I felt yesterday, D sat with me through all of it. For that, I’m truly grateful.
As I’ve said before, witnessing pain isn’t easy. It’s actually one of the most difficult things I’ve personally done. Witnessing someone else’s pain is far worse for me than feeling my own. Because I hate seeing others in pain.
The things I was feeling made me nauseous. I couldn’t even cry because I was in so much pain. I didn’t want to expose him to that. I didn’t want to expose anyone to that level of pain in me. It would be too triggering for some folks to know the details of what I was feeling and working through emotionally, but suffice it to say that even I had a sour stomach and it was my trauma.
But D stayed with me. Talked to me. Let me feel what I needed to feel. He offered the support I needed in that moment. And it’s moments like that, where someone—whether D or the hubby or a friend—takes time from their busy schedule to help me through something, that makes me try harder to move through the bad place I’m stuck in.
People caring and showing me they care makes such a huge difference in my recovery time.
I know it’s possible to work through things alone or in therapy, but there’s something to be said about people that care about you. It changes everything. Their kindness and love make even the toughest days less difficult.
Witnessing pain may be hard when we feel others’ pain, but it’s not actually hard to do. It’s simple. Just listen. Be supportive. Hold the person if they need it. But mostly, just listen.
People used to tell me what to feel or that what I’m feeling is wrong, not stopping to think about the fact that feelings are feelings and we can’t control them. When people used to tell me how to feel, what they were really telling me is that my feelings made them too uncomfortable and therefore, I needed to stop feeling them.
It was about them and their discomfort, not about them trying to help me work through my pain.
Sure there are good feelings, and feelings that seem to align accurately to something happening in the moment. But so often feelings stem from past experiences where we’ve been hurt. They are the most prominent and in my opinion, the most toxic of feelings because they aren’t stemming from the moment.
They’re trauma-related feelings.
By simply listening yesterday, D helped me. He supported me in feeling what I needed to feel and didn’t put judgment on me. This meant I got to feel rather than suppress. Therefore, I worked through the pain fairly fast.
I think it’s so important for people to understand what witnessing pain means. Yes, it’s hard, but when any one of us witnesses someone’s pain we are giving them the most beautiful and kind gift—the gift of knowing they are loved.
I’m so thankful that D gave me that gift yesterday and that I have so many loving people in my life that witness my pain as well. I know I’m loved. And that makes the pain a thing in which I can work through.
Today was a much better day.