I never really understood that not being able to read the cues of toxic or abusive behaviour was a trauma response. I judged myself so harshly for not seeing. How could I have not seen? For being naive. For being gullible. For being timid. For being meek. For ending up in the same kinds of toxic relationships over and over again. I really thought there was something fundamentally wrong with me.

I have come to understand that not seeing; not knowing; not speaking was the way I survived my childhood. The way my nervous system responded to trauma was to create an impenetrable wall so that I could continue to live as if it didn’t happen. But of course I couldn’t ever live as if it didn’t happen. It took constant vigilance and suppression to navigate my life.

Part of my healing journey has been the dissolving of these veils and I am being called to see, know and respond to behaviours that I would have not even been aware of in the past. I am learning to trust my own physiology that is now able to send clear and intelligent signals.

I made a sacred promise to myself that I would no longer judge the part of me that couldn’t see. The part of me that fussed and fawned over people that treated me badly. The part of me that couldn’t speak or set a boundary. The parts that were too frozen in fear to leave when I really needed to.

I held her when she couldn’t speak. I held her when she fawned. I held her when she was bewildered. I held her when she tried too hard to please. I held her when she unable to be authentic. I held her when she was shocked over people’s mistreatment. I held her when she put other people’s needs ahead of her own. I held her when she hid from aggressive people. I held her when she was afraid. Ashamed. I held her when all she really wanted was to be safe and loved. I held her when she wished she had been able to see sooner.

I held her. I am still holding her.



You are welcome to join me and a small group of friends for our weekly free online gathering:  A Resting Place  If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

All of Candace’s services are Trauma, PTSD, Complex Grief, Chronic Illness and Benzo withdrawal symptom sensitive.

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