I wanted to hit my dog ....
Cue alllll the judgment now .... 3 .... 2 .... 1 ....
And no not self-judgment, I've worked through that. But I know that you as the reader are probably forming an opinion already about someone wanting to hit their dog.
"What kind of person hits an animal?"
"What the hell is wrong with you?"
"You shouldn't own animals?"
.... and anything else I am missing.
But you see what I have discovered through my trauma healing is that it is a 'fight' response from my childhood.
Nestled in bed sleeping soundly when woken abruptly by shenanigans causing immediate fear.
Now this isn't a 1x occurrence, we are talking weekly and sometimes more than 1x weekly.
As a child it gets stuffed because as children, the normal we know is the normal we live.
Fast-forward getting dogs here at this current duty station because the kids are old enough to help manage them, and because let's face it, in a home full of neurodivergents they are quite the therapeutic fluffy friends.
Since being retired and home way more often, I sit nestled in my spot on the couch deep into my learning, meditating or creating; as they bark because of falling leaves or amazon packages getting delivered, my body is activated - heart pounds, I feel hot, my breath is shallow, and immediate fear sets in.
"I want to hit my dogs" .... is my very first thought I have to protect myself. That is trauma. Deeply rooted and activating my nervous system sending me into a sympathetic state ready to 'fight'.
Now, of course I don't hit my dog. I am equipped with a new awareness that allows me to understand why I react and why the thought is there.
It's always in the awareness.
I most definitely went from a 'fight' activation to 'shame' as soon as I released the energy which is totally normal for those that have lived life with chronic stress and trauma.
I judged myself just as you still might be right now while you're reading this. But it comes down to one word: trauma.
I was given the biggest compliment by my therapist this week. She is amazed at all I have navigated through not only in life, but since transitioning to a civilian.
If you all only knew the stories and beliefs I have been uncovering these last few years. And then EMDR taking me straight to the root and identifying the trauma to pluck out and refill with seeds of hope, clarity, and a vision.
I'm equally proud because there were days I wanted to quit .... to pretend I was fine because that is what seemed easier.
But I am an example ... to my husband, my kids, my clients, and my clients I have yet to meet. (Psst is that you?)
Let go of judgment for what you thought, did or even do when you weren't/are not yourself, and if you need support please reach out.
To improve my relationship with my pup (and because he truly barks at everything) not only did we sign him up for dog training, but my husband encouraged me to be the one to take him. So we can learn to understand each other .... his fears of leaves falling and my real love for him masked in the past.
He really is a sweet sweet boy and so misunderstood. Sounds familiar, as even after reading that this is a trauma response, there are still those that will carry judgment about me, but, that is for them to work out ... there's likely something deeply rooted and tied to it.
Sidenote: Today is the last day to apply for complimentary coaching with me as I submit my Somatic Trauma-Informed Coaching certification. I have a lot of experiences (this was just a crumb) that I have worked through that I know could support you. If not anything else, I can say I know what it feels like and can hold space as you share the very things you feel shame or fear around.
I hope this brings to light to never judge what you do not know. Everyone is fighting a battle others know nothing about. Can't remember who quotes that, but it is so true.
Til next time,