The CPTSD Foundation posted a great article the other day, “The Problem Isn’t Your Motivation, It’s Your Wound” by Alison Wegner. Here is the beginning segment:
“A woman in her mid-forties walks into a therapist’s office with a broken leg. She is at her wits’ end. Sitting down in the therapist’s chair, she says, “I’m so frustrated. I’ve been trying to run a marathon for years, but I just can’t do it. There must be something wrong with me. I try to get out of bed to train, but I just don’t want to. Even when I force myself, I can’t go nearly as far as everyone else. It is like I’m somehow deficient. After practicing, I am in so much agony that I have to take pain killers. Other people can run without resorting to pain killers. I just don’t understand what is wrong with me.”
What is the first thing you would say to this person? “The problem is your broken leg.”
I use this as a metaphor for those with trauma. Such individuals often try to ‘willpower’ their way past severe and debilitating wounds- wounds that are present and yet invisible.”
The article helped me to be kinder to myself and treat myself as I would treat someone with a broken leg. Eight years ago, in my early twenties, I lost somebody who was very important to me. It happened after a lifetime of interpersonal trauma, and tipped my mind and body into a permanent state of immobilisation/depression. I am now extremely limited in how much I can do. Most days I don’t get dressed. I always struggle to make a meal. I have gone a week without showering now, and often I just go back to bed as it’s all too much. One area that I particularly struggle with is maintaining relationships. I don’t tend to talk on the phone anymore and replying to messages is also difficult. I do not need people continually asking for more and guilting me into responding (e.g. implying that I am torturing your heart by not replying). I cannot handle and do not want this amount of contact. I’m sorry to disappoint.