The gifts of PTSD – when the outside doesn’t match the inside


Oh, the gifts of PTSD, how they keep on giving! I have been struggling with some of the effects in an arena I never thought I would need to struggle in. One of the twisting curiosities of my PTSD has been how certain things can trigger a reaction that seems on the surface to be completely divorced from the sexual abuse of my growing years. Over time I have refined my bodily reactions so that I can operate in the world in a manner that is similar to most people without drawing suspicion. However, in the circles I run in many of those “most people” characteristics fall away.

One of the things that I have learned to do is to not immediately trust my gut reaction. Because I work with people who deeply trust their intuition which often centers in their gut sometimes my way of dealing with this can be problematic. I do trust my intuition, which is a combination of knowledge, wisdom, self-checks, Etheric Web checks, plus my physical gut reaction. I do not automatically trust my initial physical gut reaction unless I am in a physically dangerous situation meaning I have not negated my absolutely necessary fight or flight response. What I have done is learn how to double check my initial knee-jerk gut reaction. I do this because I learned early not to trust my body and the messages it was sending me because of the abuse and the associated defense mechanisms built up against that abuse.

When a situation triggers an initial strong gut reaction in me I refer to it as my “gut clench” response. I immediately dispel it while I do a quick deep check as to its truthfulness and authenticity. I do this by physically tightening up and giving an energetic push that moves the immediate gut clench reaction away from me. I then do an internal check to discover whether that gut clench is authentic or not. I have honed this skill for years and I do it very quickly. A deep core check and a poke at the Universal energy around me has served me well.

Most of the people that I do deep work with have learned to trust their immediate gut reactions and rightly so. That doesn’t mean that they are never wrong, but it often means that they have a freedom that I do not have with their initial gut reaction. Because I don’t feel I can trust my immediate gut reaction I have tempered my behavior accordingly and do my internal check because of my desire is to respond with my authentic self. This felt like useful way of caring for my own needs in a way that still allowed me to be real and respond to whatever was going on around me. I still believe that this is a useful tool for me as it brings a level of clarity that I would not have if I automatically reacted to my gut clench.

However, it has been brought to my attention that this particular mode of response feels far differently to others that it does to me. Because I work with deeply intuitive people I am also working with their heightened level of energy awareness. In a gut clench response I physically tighten up my body (and I’m guessing I also visually tighten up) and they are noticing. When I’ve been doing my energy push to move the gut reaction away from me so that I can drop down they are feeling that push of energy, too. What I did not know was that this tightening and energy push was being interpreted as resistance against whatever was just said or done. How this resistance translates emotionally to people depends greatly on their own personal filters and/or their filters in that moment.

This has left me in quite a conundrum. How do I maintain and honor my PTSD self-care while also addressing that when I do this it feels very differently to others? Another piece for me is remaining is remaining in the moment, rather than being tossed back into a memory, so in my head I say, “I am here. Now.” Saying that out loud in that moment would mean little to the people around me. For me to remain healthy I need to not drop what has been useful and healthy for me. So what to do? I think I need to tell people that I do this clench-tighten-push thing.  Also, I need to open space where people can comfortably ask me about it when it occurs, without fear of negative consequences. This feels like a good resolution for this conundrum.

I do not wish for my outside to inaccurately reflect my inside and chance being seen as stubbornly resistant, not thinking well of others, inflexible, or as one who can not be stood against without receiving flack. Learning that something I so highly value about myself has been seen and felt in ways that are so troublesome has been exceedingly difficult. Now that I have been made aware I can at least do something to mitigate the effects, which is far better than walking around unaware.

So, lots of interesting things have recently come up for me. A lot of deep reflection, conversing with deity, and some divination tools thrown in for good measure have helped me sort it out. This feels very true to me, the manner in which my outside self was misrepresenting my inside self and what I can do as a viable fix. Both of these pieces feel true. May it be so, May be so, May it be so.

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