December 8th, 2002


flashing back

Maybe I can get some feedback on this?
I mentioned yesterday to a newer friend that I had a video of me doing a performance piece about fourteen years ago when I was a senior in art school. I told her it was an incredibly open performance where I let everyone know how miserable I was,how I had only had mostlly negative feedback from everyone,stuff about how miserable my childhoood was, how shy, how insecure. I had my parents in the audience and yet I acted like they werent there. I must have been so angry. I didnt say I was abused but there was enough to make my parents say when it was all over "Were so sorry well change".

So even tho I had this feeling it would uspet me I spontaneously agreed to show it to her. I figured I need to be a lil detached anyway maybe it wont bother me. Well it did. The main reason it did was for a couple of reasons:

1.First I realized the same things I am saying in that video (with the exception of living in Long island and living with my parents) I am still saying. I stilll have a head that wont shut up. I still have a vcery negative tape playing. I still am afraid of men. I still am sometimes quite shy almost painfully mostlly in groups.I am still very insecure. So when I watched this and listened to a younger me this awful feeling came over me. Have I not grown any since then? I think I have in some areas but that awful intense sadness I had then I still often have now. Maybe because I have always cared and always been aware of what I needed to work on and what was making me unhappy. I think I have always had an extreme desire to overcome everything. Part of the reason I did a performance piece in the first place was because I wanted all of the art school to know I was shy and so theyd have a different opinion of me. It seemed so important to me that people didnt misread me. I was quite an intense early twenty something.

2.Because I have had two people one this month and one last month tell me I use my trauma for a crutch. Someone recently said (I heard this second hand)I let my emotions control me.. all this stuff... and at the time I said to myself no I dodnt. I fight this. I try hard to get over all of this. I have been in counseling on and off since I was 14. No I dont indulge this. I cant help this. I dont use my trauma as a crutch I use it to understand my actions and my triggers so I can know where they come from and work on them. I have developed defenses throughout the years to survive the abuse that I dont need anymore but there they are anyway. I thought all this. I thought I was strong and fighting. But when I watched the video I had other thoughts...

Could I fight this more? Am I wrapping myself up in a trauma blanket and using it was an excuse to not succeed more? Am I using trauma as a crutch. Should I be able to just kick my trauma to the side and do whatever I desire? Or is it really something beyond my control without someone (therapist) teaching me ways to not use my defenses... ways to cope better...

Or am I using Trauma as a crutch?