My therapy session today was a bit interesting. Last week, we veered off and discussed work, career, and relationships, all of which was very pertinent (still is) and held my anxiety at bay. This week, we refocused on the trauma issues. I tried just talking about it versus writing it as C. felt this just distanced me from the emotions too much. Overall, I don't think it went the way she expected as I had a much tougher time thinking about my thoughts and feelings of the past and present.
There was one instance where I was recounting an event. C. asked a question about it, and I paused momentarily. So small, I didn't even think she noticed. But she did, and then asked a "what else" type question. I spoke of another instance which happened that I had given much less thought to over the years. It was significant, but like an afterthought, "oh yeah, and then this other time..." The funny thing with that incident is that I remember it much more clearly, with all those cues like what movie was on, that there was an interruption, that it was dark, how I felt before and afterwards, etc. This is highly different from the trauma incident that felt the most traumatic. Those details are all blurred with my recollections unclear, making me wonder about my own accuracies or inaccuracies.
After recounting the not so thought about incident, C. asked if there was anything else. And then, I said, there was this time and that time, etc. My first thoughts about this as I left was "shit, no wonder why I developed an eating disorder."
But aside from that point, what this also reminded me of was "baggage." We all have it. It's the skeletons in the closet we rarely like to talk about or show. It's the dirty laundry that makes us feel unlovable, unworthy, ashamed, damaged. For some of us, it feels like our Scarlet Letter A.
I was reading Jenni Schaefer's post on the Huffington Post about Dating real people (after and eating disorder). She said how she used to "air out the dirty laundry" early in dating someone as an attempt to see whether the other person really liked her. Personally, as a general rule, I've always been opposite in not revealing the "dirty laundry" until after I knew the person better. Of course, there were certain instances when I offered too much information as well. But mostly, I've always been afraid of my own "baggage" even if I was carrying my own bags. My thinking was more along the lines of, "if I'm afraid of my own baggage, what would someone else think?"
I've known many people in both circumstances. Some people want to get it all out there, while others feel like it'll just make the person run. Neither way is right or wrong but rather dependent on you. I think the thing that is more damaging is when you are so fearful of your own baggage that you never let go of the handles.