Why I Don’t Talk About My Trauma

I’ve been asked several times to share my story; to tell everybody why I’m here. I’ve told parts of that story. I’ve talked about my suicide attempts, I’ve talked about my self harm, I’ve talked about my diagnosis. I have not talked about the reason for all of those things. My childhood trauma.

I haven’t talked about my childhood trauma to my parents. I’ve never talked about it to a therapist. I’ve never told a doctor. In fact, I’ve never told anybody. And I won’t start now. Maybe one day I’ll be ready to share. Hopefully one day I’ll be willing to share. Possibly one day I’ll be able to share. For right now, it’s too painful. It’s far too much. I’m stable (as stable as I’ll ever be) and I don’t want to risk bringing those feelings to the surface.

Science says those of us with bipolar disorder are born without neuro elasticity and the ability to absorb neuro chemicals properly, but it takes some serious trauma to trigger our brains into actual disorder. I was triggered at a very early age by a series of events no young person should ever endure. To me, talking about those times has never felt helpful. It has only ever triggered more negatives than positives. A lot of it I have blocked out quite well, in fact.

To me, it doesn’t matter what got me here as much as it does what I’m doing about it/with it/for it. I’m going to therapy and taking my meds. I’m owning it and opening up to help those like me. I’m advocating relentlessly for those that struggle with any mental illness or emotional trauma.

I think it’s beyond commendable of those people who are willing and able to share their full stories and let us in on their trauma. I want to personally thank every person who has shared their trauma experience. It truly makes our community stronger every experience that is shared. However, it’s not acceptable to pressure others into sharing their experience. For some it’s much too painful.

So I’m not sharing now and I won’t likely share any time in the near future. You know that by the nature of my illness I have had past traumas but it’s not necessary to rehash them to Advocate properly or effectively. Thank you for understanding.

Love always

-DQ

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49 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Talk About My Trauma”

      1. You’re welcome 🙂 I have a ministry for refugees in my city and I never push them to tell me anything. They share with me if or when they feel ready, but my friendship with them does not require them to share,

        Liked by 1 person

      2. One more thought I had. If you choose to share about your trauma, I think starting with a counselor you trust is best because the counselor can help you process the decision about who and how to share with those who are in your life.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I hear you. What I have learned about people is that people don’t know shit. They’ll poke at you constantly to do something without knowing truly what doing that something will do. Triggers and trauma are, in my opinion, just starting to be SLIGHTLY understood. And it’s possible half of the people wanting to understand them are themselves people who should not.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Knowing when to share trauma and when not to is a big thing. Some of us feel pressured, I think, into sharing their experiences, even when it’s not the best thing to do. We all deal with trauma differently, and our trauma is by nature different from each other. The fact that you know now is not the time to be approaching those memories, AND the fact that you recognize there may not be a time, is HUGE. I mean, not that I don’t expect that from you 🙂 but still, letting people know that it’s okay to not delve into your past when you aren’t ready is important. Never feel you have to share your trauma!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Speaking up about mental health is great, but it should not be pressured! Everyone has their own pace in life and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and if you think it’s to keep your trauma experience to yourself – do exactly that! You decide the rules about your mental health, and it is refreshing to see a post like this 🙂 all the best to you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I completely understand where you’re coming from here, if you don’t want to share those details about yourself, that’s completely understandable. You shouldn’t be made to feel as though you have to talk about it if you don’t want to. It’s no one’s business but yours. I often feel with the recent online trend within USA politics (the #MeToo movement and the recent change in abortion laws) is pushing people into telling their traumatic experiences. This can be a good thing, and i commend those brave enough to put their stories out there, but it can also be a bad thing, especially with regards to self care.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s absolutely fine if you don’t want to share your story, DQ..we humans share our joys or griefs because we find doing that therapeutic but if sharing them brings more stress than otherwise, there’s no point in doing so. And that’s your prerogative, girl. We are here for whatever you feel like telling us about..no demands, no complaints…keep doing the good work you are doing ☺️👍🏼

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Excellent!! Yes, nourish the soul.
        As I started my blog to share my story of childhood trauma—I get it. It’s not easy. It’s painful. Each time I hit the publish button, I cried and wanted to puke. But I also knew-it was something i had to do. And hopefully it inspires others to be ok with their own painful stories. But I had to wait until I knew I was ok.

        And after blogging awhile and gaining confidence —I realized it wasn’t so much about me anymore—it was just simply me making art.

        I wish you and anyone struggling—all the time you need to heal and feel well. Healing is possible. This I am daily learning. And it’s different for everyone! No one can tell us what we should or shouldn’t do. Only encourage. And I encourage you to keep writing!
        Be well, DQ and yes—always remember the important things. Life is too short to not enjoy cheesecake…💞

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I applaud you for knowing what is best for you. Your abuse is your story to tell IF and when you ever decide to. I waited 55 years to tell my story. It was terrifying, and then I took the step of putting it out in a memoir ( Secrets In Big Sky Country). I’ve learned a lot about the brain’s development shutting down when a child’s been abused. The lack of the growth of dopamine has meant lifelong depression, and now being recently dx with Parkinson’s- the result of a lack of dopamine, I see they are even looking at the history of trauma in Parkinson’s patients.
    I admire you for sharing your writing here.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you it’s very reassuring to hear how long you waited. I feel like I have time in case I do ever want to talk about. ❤️❤️ And thanks for telling me about your book. Can you share a link? I would love to read!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much, DQ! I’d love for you to read. It’s definitely cheaper as an eBook, but I’m really proud of it. Here’s the link https://amzn.to/2MdUo6D and if you think it’s a book that would be helpful to others, I’d sure appreciate just a few words saying so on Amazon reviews. Much love and support to you. 🌹

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I wish I could Like this about 500 times over. Your life and your story are yours to share or not. No one is entitled to it. You are very respectful of all points of view. Now let’s hope others follow that example. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. You should speak about your issue especially to your therapist. That’s the only way you’ll heal. Plus it’ll feel like a weight was lifted off your shoulders.

    Like

    1. Carla, I appreciate your point of view. However, it is not for you to say how DQ will heal. She is doing quite well as we are all witnessing from her incredibly raw and beautiful posts. I know you mean well … really, I do. And I do understand the concept of releasing the trauma through talking about it. But if DQ feels that doing so will set her on a downward spiral right now (as it has in her past experience) rather than lifting that weight off her shoulders, I think we should respect her judgment. Please, please, please do not take this as a criticism of you. It is not at all. I respect your opinion and maybe even agree with you to a certain extent. But I just feel it is important for people to be able to manage their health on their own terms be it mental, reproductive or otherwise. I hope you can take this message in the spirit that it is intended and that is with compassion and love.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. There are so many of us out there who have suffered childhood trauma. I survived mine, only to step into an abusive marriage that virtually echoed what I had suffered as a child. I finally put my life into words. I wrote about my monstrous marriage to a narcissist, which segued into my horrific childhood. I escaped the absolute horror of my ex, his mother and his entire family…but I lost my friends, my family and even my children.
    I won, but it was a Pyrrhic victory.
    When you’re ready to tell your story, you will know…and we will be here to support you and most of all…understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hello I totally agree with your stand. I don’t know how old you are but I was silent about past traumas until I started creating art during art therapy when I was 46. I had been in MH system since 18 but no psychiatrist nor Psychologist gained enough trust for me to open up. I also dissociate to keep thoughts out of reach. You, and only you know what is right for you and you need to choose your own time to trust. You may never feel that the time is right. That’s OK. Be at peace with yourself. You deserve that much.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I find often that people have a ghoulish fascination with the traumas of others and seem to feel almost entitled to them in some way these days.

    You don’t owe your history to anyone who demands to hear it. It belongs to you and if it’s blocked out in storage boxes in your brain – then your brain did that for a reason (to protect you) and it won’t open them until you are ready to deal with it.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. A couple interesting ideas presented here that I hope at some point science can measure.

    First off, the idea that trauma or a series of events cause bipolar disorder.

    My initial and I think most psychologists response to this would be that this idea is nonsense. Just like ADHD is dictated by a lack of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex, bipolar is dictated by an abnormality in our part of the brain that produces our emotional responses.

    I think that is the safe bet at this point.

    However, there are the “freaks” of even “fucked up” people. And they are called those with multi-personality ie. Disassociative Disorder. Essentially the diagnoses is that they experienced certain stimuli that they couldn’t physical handle so they created a “person” or entity that could.

    Then there’s the behavior patterns of humans to consider. For example, if one person who they believed themselves lacked attention as a child, discovered they recieved it by means of protecting/doing something, they would most certainly up their use of this behavior to get more attention. In terms of bipolar, basically this is the idea that we are prone to irrational reactions emotionally and the rate of these reactions can be altered based upon response from environment. If we are condemned or punished for our emotional outbursts, could we channel or lessen our outbursts in different ways? Does a baby fake cry more if it continues to receive it’s desired outcome?

    Of course the toughest part about psychology is the lack of connection with science in terms of definitions and measurement. It’s why it is a tough sell to past generations who have no concept of it or don’t believe it. Gravity is something we can feel and see. Emotional trauma can be seen or it can be withheld inside.

    Like

    1. I understand where you are coming from here. However, DQ did not say her childhood trauma caused her bipolar. She said she was born with a brain chemistry that made her susceptible to bipolar. The trauma brought it out. If you are interested, there are some great insights from Dr. Daniel Amen (https://www.amenclinics.com/) about the brain and mental illness. Everyone should be checking him out.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m very familiar with Dr. Amen’s work and I’ve read about his 7 different types of ADD and nutritional supplements for each type. Brain scans are very important and don’t lie either.

        I think there is a lot of good knowledge there because the supplements’ can easily be proven by going on examine.com and checking all the studies/experiments done.

        Maybe I have to reread his material again but it’s the line “the trauma brought it out” that doesn’t make sense to me. If that were the case it would be a specific abnormality in the brain that could be uniquely tied to bipolar disorder, but that’s not the case. Bipolar is extreme swings of moods but there isn’t a brain scan or universal picture/known defect of the brain that’s directly tied to bipolar. Hence why we have two major types of it. Then there’s mixed episodes. I mean, one of the 7 types of ADHD that Dr. Amen talks about is “ring of fire” and honestly that could sound a lot like bipolar. For the record, I dont buy into the 7 types of ADHD but I do think there can be a few symptoms that are more dominate that others. For me, anxiety is the worst part of my ADHD.

        We’re getting closer as time progresses. We’re becoming more depressed but that has to do with our phones and lack of real human connections each and every day. SSRIS on a recent meta analysis of all major data stemming from academic studies shows a 30% success rate. Those are prescription drugs thrown around like candy because they have a small side effect panel but what’s the point of Paxil, celexa, etc if there’s a 30% chance they will help?

        I like the idea of how the next generation of antidepressants will be dopamine agonists. The logic is there. Adderall the first few times is pure ecstacy and sure that has to do with the amphetamine salts but it’s also because you’re being productive and your dopamine keeps getting spikes with each passing goal you complete. Dopamine can make you feel great. But nothing is set in stone. Take too much l-tyrosine (meant for dopamine replenishment) and you’re the most irritable SOB.

        We Have to believe in Science and research if the only other options are our own personal judgments

        Liked by 3 people

  13. Beautiful post DQ. I applaud you on your decision. Living with BP myself, I am fortunate to have an amazing psychologist whom I trust. She introduced me to a form of EMDR called “Flash Technique”, it was a game changer. The relief from being able to process my traumas without pain, was nothing short of amazing. I’d recommend you do some research. A way to be free of your traumas without having to be a billboard and advertise them.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Hello DQ. I’ve been reading your posts for several weeks now and I can’t tell you how impressed I am with your raw honesty, integrity and courageousness. And your writing is fabulous. Please keep doing what you are doing. Your work is bringing change — maybe little by little, but that’s all we can do. Right? Are you familiar with https://bringchange2mind.org/? You should check them out. I know Jessie Close and her son Calen and they are remarkable people. Just thought you might appreciate what they are doing. With much admiration. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Each of us have our own baggage which we carry and process and hopefully get to a point we can share. I’m so sorry for your childhood trauma. I don’t know what it is, but I sense the immense pain behind it. It should never have happened. It was wrong. You are valuable and loved and so much more than what happened to you. You are a warrior and a survivor! Hugs and love.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I never discuss my traumas either. I mention it happened and leave it at that. Thankfully my providers understand. Talking about specifics brings it back for a lot of us. Also, the web just isn’t a place where I want my darkest traumas to live.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. It’s funny I should read this now. Just this morning, I told my husband of over 20 years about a traumatic experience I had right after high school. It’s not that no one knew or that he didn’t know, but I never went into detail with anyone like I did with him this morning. It happened well before I met him, so it’s been a long time since that day and I just now opened up. He listened patiently and all of a sudden I realized I told him everything. When I did, I said, “Huh… I never told anyone the whole story before…” So I guess at some point everyone is ready to discuss their trauma and it’ll probably just come out in conversation without you realizing. But it was only one of many. I’ve had friends I’ve known since we were kids, and when I bring up some bad part of my life, they seem surprised they hadn’t picked up on it back then. As I get older, I notice it helps sometimes to talk to friends and family about certain traumas. But some I still keep to myself.
    In time, I’m sure you’ll be ready to talk about things. Until you are, as long as you’re doing okay, I think it’s fine to keep it to yourself. Sometimes I think I should have done the same…

    Liked by 2 people

  18. That’s a very interesting brain image. Thanks for sharing what you have so far! I never really dealt with any serious trauma as a kid other than a few intense spanking from my Dad. My bipolar disorder began when I turned 30 and I finally got help recently after a heartbreaking divorce. I’ve only told parts of my story but look forward to sharing the whole thing. We need more people to share their personal stories to clear up a lot of misconceptions about mental health in general.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you for sharing the way trauma works in setting off difficult, challenging moments of darkness for people with bipolar depression.

    I am close to a person with this illness, and your words give an accurate account of triggers in the a rollercoaster way of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Well, I’m moved to tears. I relate, all to well. I also firmly believe that trauma contributed to, if not caused, my bipolar disorder and autoimmune diseases. I experienced my first autoimmune disease within a month of a violent trauma at age four. I also told no one of the trauma, including my parents, until recent years. I still keep it close to the vest. I owe you thanks. I feel much less alone.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Good for you, to know yourself, your coping mechanisms, your triggers, and your limits. Good for you for setting a boundary to take care of yourself. At some point in your life, with the right therapist and the right support, it might feel like a relief to share your trauma stories. Or not. Bessel van der Kolk argues that it is not necessary in order to get better, but telling the stories can be a great release from the shame that often comes with them. I know that has been the case for me. I have not free of those stories yet, but the shaming power they hold over me has definitely diminished as I dragged them out of their dark caves and into the light. But I couldn’t do it for a long time; I had to wait until other things in my life were less pressing and I had the space to fall apart for a little while. Because it’s damn hard work. It’s enough damn work just to keep functioning and coping with a mental illness, much less face up to traumatic childhood experiences. So maybe in time you will want to share, and maybe you won’t, and as long as you are caring for yourself, either one is can be a wise decision. I love how thoughtful you are about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Ha, @whatsajeffrey? I, too, have ADHD, and only learned about it a few years ago. Interesting that you should bring up that some of the symptoms of ADHD can present as bipolar. I had a terrible experience with a psychiatric nurse practitioner who, after only two visits wanted to put me on lithium (I was already on an SSRI). When I asked her if that meant she thought I had bipolar, she replied, “I don’t want to focus on the diagnosis, I want to focus on treating the symptoms.” That seemed legit to my hot mess of a brain at the time. But I refused to go on Lithium, so she put me on Wellbutrin which made me jittery and anxious and exacerbated my as-yet-undiagnosed ADHD. Long story short, I left that practice and found a psychiatrist who not only listened to me but also required me to read “Driven to Distraction” by Ned Hallowell before he diagnosed me. After reading it, it was crystal clear to me that ADHD was my issue and NOT bipolar. Anyway, interesting convo going here. You are clearly further along reading Dr. Amen than I am. I’ve had to put it down temporarily to read stuff for a project I’m working on. But I’ll get back to it. Sorry to hijack your comments, Colly. I hope everyone is doing well.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. That image of a healthy brain, compared to a bipolar brain, really tells the story. If the thoughts of someone having a manic episode were represented as a maze, it would be a maze that would disorient the most talented explorer. They would never find their way out. They wouldn’t know where they’d been, let alone where they were going.

    Liked by 2 people

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