It takes a great deal of work to reframe normalized insults and threats. For many years I heard both, and it scarred me. It silenced me. It changed me.
Even after, it was a long time before those painful, debilitating adrenaline rushes stopped whenever I would witness another being insulted or hear petty threats. It was a long time before I didn’t feel that momentary chemical change. That fight or flight that some see to absolutely thrive on after becoming so used to it.
The difference is that I did not thrive on that type of sickness. Fighting was so unnatural and only made things worse. Flight was impossible. Until the day it wasn’t.
Channeling those chemicals elsewhere was far more difficult than simply disassociating. Or tuning something out. For me, going numb to it was equal to death, so I refused to take that path. I made another choice. A choice to reframe the message. A choice to reframe the person. The source.
It has taken years.
Insults, names, threats, shame, contrived antagonism. They mean nothing to me which I never thought I would be able to say and say honestly. That chemical reaction is absent. I have reached a place where the effect is now zero.
Though I am far from bulletproof. I can, now, only feel pity for the insecurity, pain and unhappiness that must cause this level of action and word. Knowing that healing will never come to them is incredibly sad. So, I had to start questioning why I was allowing the past pain of another affect me so greatly in ALL aspects of my life and relationships. Why would I let it incapacitate me so?
We learn to feel it reflects on us and it becomes our personal monologue. It makes us second guess ourselves. It makes us doubtful of everyone. The truth that we think we know but rarely have the unbroken will to stand behind is that these words and actions say nothing about us, yet everything about them.
Knowing this has become a powerful salve to those painful chemical disruptions that were upsetting my life and my heart. And, I won’t ever look back.
Freedom from abuse is true freedom.