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Finding Comfort in the Stillness as a Trauma Survivor

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Finding stillness in our busy lives often eludes us, but trying to find comfort in that stillness is even more challenging! It’s like trying to catch clouds out of the sky! I have been struggling with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and dissociation for a few years now since recovering memories of childhood sexual abuse four years ago. My mind is too busy to allow me to go to sleep easily, my heart and soul are so restless, my body is in too much pain to allow much of anything… and then there’s so much more!

Are there areas of your life where you feel busyness is too overwhelming? Does it feel like everything is too much? Yep, I get it. Can we find the stillness, and then embrace it? Does any of this make sense to you? Can you relate? Join me in exploring…

In my journey through recovery, my faith has been extremely important to me, even at times when my faith is weak. I know there are people who don’t have this kind of faith, and that’s OK. Whether you look to God, or a higher power, or to the universe for direction and meaning, I love the reassurance you gain from it. Please, do stay with me on this exploration of stillness… and more!

Finding Comfort in the Stillness

Can I be in the stillness of my Mind
When it’s racing all the time?
Can I be in the stillness of my Heart
When it pounds with anxiety and fear?
Can I be in the stillness of my Soul
When it’s restless and confused and I don’t know where to turn?
Can I be in the stillness of my Body
When it can’t get the rest and relaxation it desperately needs?
These are questions that I must ask myself!
But right at this moment I have no answers!
Most days I have no idea if I can find that elusive stillness

The stillness of my Mind?
Yeah, my mind is never still… it’s running, racing
Like rats running around a maze
Scurrying, frantic, confused, endless frustration
Chasing after each other, scampering from one point to another
Just as my mind goes from one thought to another
Not able to make my way from point A to point B
Fragments of thoughts and ideas
But none of them are complete, or make any sense at all
Difficult to concentrate, to focus, I’m so scattered…
Can I keep my focus on one thing?
A confused mess, a ‘cacophony of noise’!

So – can I find the stillness of my Mind?

The stillness of my Heart?
The triggers that come so fast and furious
My heart pounds so loudly, making me feel like I’ve gone deaf
Anxiety and fear crushing me under its weight
Telling me ‘Run away! There’s danger, danger!’
Where do I run to, where do I hide, so I’m not attacked ?
Is that attack coming from the outside… or from within?
Who is trying to attack me or hurt me or ‘take me down’?
Why are they after me? What are they trying to do to me?
I often ‘wear my heart on my sleeve’, and my feelings are all raw
Why do I get hurt so easily? Why do I feel so much?
Why am I so sensitive? What’s that all about?

So – can I find the stillness of my Heart?

The stillness of my Soul?
I’ve been trying to ‘find myself’ for years… no… for decades
Challenging myself, asking myself ‘What do I believe?’
But I feel like God failed me when I was young
He didn’t protect me as a child, and allowed that abuse to happen to me
He didn’t protect me from that evil, or find a way to defend me!
I didn’t know how to fight back, because I didn’t understand anything!
No one taught me about emotions, or what to do with them
Or prepare me for the real world out there!
I felt like God left me alone in the desert with no ‘tools’ to get out of it!
Armed with only imaginary weapons, fighting windmills
Out there to fend for myself, feeling like a fool

So – can I find the stillness of my Soul?

The stillness of my body?
I fidget, I wiggle, always changing position, constantly moving
Restless leg syndrome is brutal when you’re a kid
Yet even worse when you’re an adult, and expected to ‘sit still’!
Damn it – I can’t! I try… I really do!
Then getting the rest, relaxation and sleep that I need?
Some days yes… yet others… nope, that’s not going to happen
Sleep is inconsistent, irregular, often too much… or too little!
I can’t make my body do any exercises either – except the minimum!
It hurts too much to even go from one place to another!
It’s a struggle to make a simple meal or go to the store
My Body – why do you have to let me down so?

So – can I find the stillness of my Body?

All of these parts within me are elusive right now
It feels like they have run away and hidden
Do I even deserve to have these things – or am I asking too much?
Am I not special enough to have these within my grasp?
For my Mind to hold knowledge and memories
For my Heart to feel and express emotions and be protected from hurt
For my Soul to connect to God faithfully and prayerfully
For my Body to actually function as it should, and not give out on me!
Or be in so much pain that nothing can quell that pain!
I only ask for the simple things in life – I don’t need extravagant stuff!
Mind, Heart, Soul, Body – just the same as everyone else
Is this really too much to ask?

To find this stillness within me, then to connect with it
I must quiet the craziness and chatter and confusion in my mind
Calm the voices that keep screaming at me
Quiet the fear and anxiety that grabs my heart
… and puts me ‘over the top’ with emotions I can’t control
So I can put aside the worries about the future
Put my faith and trust wholly in God
To hear Him when He says “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
I want to let go of the pain and anguish that my body feels every single day
To then relax in knowing that this body is just temporary
These are ways for me to start finding that wonderful stillness

So then the next step: how do I find comfort in that stillness?
There is so much busyness in life it’s very hard to just be
To sit with my thoughts and emotions and feelings
To wrestle with asking myself questions like these…
How do I get through all of this chatter going through my mind?
What are my values? What are my beliefs?
What do I want to do? What are my goals?
Why do I want to do it? What impact do I want to have?
What do I want to do with my life? What is my intention or objective in life?
Where do I want to be in my life? What is the worthwhile meaning of my life?
What are my ultimate goals, purpose and meaning for being here on planet Earth?
What do I want my legacy to be?
What do I want people to remember when I’m gone?

I’ve been searching for my purpose, my meaning, my reason for being here
My therapist said purpose is a drive, I’m going towards something
She said meaning is what I’m doing, so an implied or explicit significance
She said as I’m trudging through all my pain, and writing about it
I can turn it around to help and support others as they go through their pain
What I’ve been through, what I’ve experienced, what I’m working through
By being authentic, I can reach out to others and be there for them
Sharing my story and my perspective of how things have affected me
By doing that, reassuring others that they are not alone in this journey
Giving them hope as they struggle with their own demons
There is a way through the awful storms we experience!
There is Hope for this crazy thing called Life!
That ultimately I can find comfort in the stillness!
Then I can clearly see the road in front of me!
Can you find comfort in your Stillness?

Originally published: May 26, 2022
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