Going back to school was amazing in some ways – I felt so comfortable and accepted there. Socializing was a lot easier than I anticipated, and I had so much fun in spite of the stress from lack of self-care time. But I realized that my concern about self care masked the real challenge.
The real challenge was a flood of memories about my struggles trying to socialize and fit in with peers or attain meaningful goals. My body started reacting first. But not in the same way it usually does. The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatments have been helping a lot, so the cramping pain, nausea, and rapid breathing changed to something I didn’t recognize. My sleeping was okay, but the dreams changed.
My anxiety increased every day as I got closer and closer to the last class. Up until Friday in class, I debated whether or not to not follow through the rest of the application process. There is still an email telling my admissions counselor I don’t want to continue waiting in my draft box. It explains that maybe I am not sure I feel ready to start school in September. My alters and I do worry that our body is not ready for that kind of stress yet.
Earlier in the day, I texted my counselor about my worries. She got back to me while I was in the last class and convinced me to wait until after our session to decide about the email. My counselor and I talked about it in session, but what came out of my mouth wasn’t what either of us expected. My parts started talking. They shared what each of us had been told throughout the years without providing context first. By the time I came back, the session was over. I felt really mad at myself, upset, and confused.
- What I wanted to share has to wait until the next session. But right now, we have to cope with the fallout symptoms from being triggered on multiple levels.
- Memories of shame and humiliation with regards to socializing, participating in class, and enjoying myself in crowds
- Memories of what my parents, brother, relatives, so-called friends, and other people said to shame and discourage me from achieving my school-related dreams
- Coping with the fact that my body and mind are not reacting to these triggers in the “typical” way – and none of us know what to do
So now life has calmed down. Work schedule is getting back to normal. And I have an essay to write. But this weekend was busy with work. And I finally had some warm, sunny days to enjoy outside. It was fun hanging out with neighborhood friends and seeing the crowds of people on the street again.
Thanks for reading