There are few feelings in this world that I feel that are useless. Superiority is one of them. However,this isn’t going to be about me talking about superiority. This is about another feeling that I feel is rather unnecessary, hurt.
Hurt is a powerful and overwhelming feeling. And while I can see a use for it initially, in the long run it can be harmful. It’s one of the hardest things to overcome. Hurt is something that burrows in to your soul. Once it’s there, it’s a bitch and a half to deal with.
Then there’s decisions to be made. Do you just dwell on it and let it fester? Do you process it?
This is where I come in. I’m working on processing large quantities of hurt.
Hurt is also something left by abuse. It stands to reason. You have someone who constantly beats on you either emotionally, physically or sexually it’s bound to leave a large psychic scar. The repeated pain that’s inflicted can be too overwhelming to deal with.
So, how does one go about finally processing hurt?
Honestly, it depends on the individual. Some people fare well with talking. Some people feel the need to physically doing something about it. Personally, I’m a talker. Communication is hugely important to me. That’s true in all things. In many ways I’m a communication whore. I love it when someone can talk about things open and honestly.
I also am someone who wears their heart on their sleeve as well. It means that I can be hurt easily… Or at least that would be the theory.
Really, my shell is much tougher than that thanks to countless years of being betrayed, belittled and various other things that don’t start with “be”. Which means I also can come off as aloof or angry. I won’t lie, I am an angry person. I have a lot of things to be angry about. All of which go back to manipulation, beatings, and being berated for 25 years. That’s not exactly a small task to overcome.
I could let it overwhelm me. Most people do. Abuse is one of the largest reasons that people use drugs and become an alcoholic.
There’s also something more insidious that large degrees of hurt can do, especially when you talk about abuse that has lasted so long and has been so serious that the abused develops PTSD (which I have been diagnosed with by three separate doctors). It creates negative neural pathways creating behavior that seems much different from you would expect from people.
However, more recent neurological findings have discovered something known as neuroplasticity. The fact that the brain can rework old pathways and create more positive ones from them is rather revolutionary. It also makes processing the hurt less painful. It’s a process that my SO and I have worked with for sometime. Trying to replace old, negative thoughts about certain places or songs or what-have-you with newer, positive ones.
This is by no means an easier path to psychological wellness. It takes a lot of time and patience. It requires doing something over and over again until it’s rewired. It’s part of the reason when I’m feeling hurt or I get stuck in a negative feedback loop the first thing I ask for is reassurance. I would prefer it from the person. That’s not always possible. So, in lieu of reassurance from the person I need it from friends and family.
Anyway you slice it, processing hurt is a long and tedious… well, process. It requires a lot of patience and time. No matter how you slice it, unless you seek out the sublimation route (drinking and drugs) it’s going to be a time-consuming task.
So far it seems to be working OK. I’ve used traditional psychotherapy (meaning no drugs, all talk) and what’s suggested through neuroplasticity.
Is either way better than the other? I honestly don’t know. But I’ll keep working on it. I don’t like that hurt and pain keeps me afraid to do a lot of things.
Articles on PTSD and Neuroplasticity