It took me quite a while to realize that there wasn’t only past trauma bubbling up. There was new stuff: Not being treated with care and respect; not being included in decisions that impact me; receiving empathy only in certain contexts when it seemed to be expected. I slowly started to see how the same type of fallacious thinking that leads a person to believing in conspiracy theories – false dichotomies, lack of humility, cherry-picking, appeals to emotion, and faulty generalizations – also impacts how they interact with other people. And it was hurting me in that relationship. There was also a weird certainty around what the future would hold – based on lack of understanding of probability – and that future was dire (though not based on climate disruption and even that future might not turn out as catastrophic as some of us think). When he declared to be proud of that future focus, it was instantly clear to me that I would not succeed in arguing (as in philosophical argument) him out of his irrational beliefs. They were too ingrained, mutually reinforcing each other, and based on lots of unquestioned faulty thinking and unprocessed trauma. That’s when I ended the relationship.
And, yet, its after effects are lingering: There is isolation, some of it at least self-imposed in part because I crave solitude and in other part because I struggle with shame and depression (again…). It’s amazing what my mind can come up with to hurl at me… And it seems that this relationship has reopened some wounds that I had thought I had healed: The doubt around my lovability, doubt of my ability to achieve anything in this life. Yes, it’s time for some deep healing work, which actually already started while I was still in the relationship: Trauma-sensitive yoga, generative somatics, other yoga and mindfulness meditation. Yes, I know, all not supported by science… I am exploring adding cognitive-behavioral therapy to the mix as well, though for me horizontal integration might be particularly helpful since I tend to not notice the signals my body sends that could help me realize that I am telling myself crap, I mean, thoughts that lead to shame and wanting to isolate. It’s hard to refute something I am not even aware of telling myself!