Evolving perspective on Paranoia: C-PTSD

One of my favourite things about creating new habits is observing the shift within. Running has been my go-to for over 20 years. To this day, it’s such a magical moment when my mind shifts from circular (and counterproductive) conversations to absolute clarity. It’s as if a lightbulb is switched on. Or perhaps the blood is redistributed to operate multiple parts of my being so my mind is in ‘battery saving mode’ and only absorbing what is necessary and letting go of what is not.

I’m not sure of the mechanics but such a hilarious moment during my morning run.

I’m just about to embark on a hustle that will have a fixed schedule. This terrifies me on a certain level and excites me on another. I’m all for habits and not so low key obsessed with schedules. To be in the same physical location at expected times, on repeat. I did this with the restaurants so I am confident I worked out the ‘kinks’. To test my capacity for wellness and lead group fitness classes! To know with absolute certainty that I’m back to my ‘normal’ 150% go big or go home state of being. What an exciting time to be alive!

And then it hits me. The thing I am overcoming is PARANOIA. Anyone that has had a stalker knows that it’s not fun. Some days I can be confrontational AF and say IS THAT ALL YOU GOT? And other days, I’m so apathetic that watching tv sounds so much more appealing than stepping foot outside. And I went nearly a decade without owning a tv. Avoidant? Perhaps. Focused? Perhaps as well. Sometimes being gentle with myself means ‘there is always tomorrow to deal with something, right?’ Wrong. Not in Jess World.

People in my biological family have been stalking me. It’s not a fear. It’s a fact. They also have flying monkeys that check up on me. It’s not a fear. It’s a fact as well. During the last year, I’ve gamified this. Kind of like whack-a-mole. I play, spot-the-monkey. I cannot help but laugh at the way in which I process things. The things I tell myself to maintain my sanity. (This is a time where I would be harsh on myself and claim that I need a white jacket and a padded room BUT a kindred spirit insists that I stop repeating this joke because my soul cannot tell the difference between reality and a joke. Next time, I’ll refrain from explaining #Growth #Winning).

I digress. During my run, I was observing some of the other runners. I was checking out their form, tapping into their space, admiring their focus (clearly I was externally focused at the start of my run). And then about 33 minutes into my run, I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. Belly laughing. There is a runner that I’ve seen a few times. I saw him today. My entire body woke up, my cadence increased, my only thought was ‘hold onto his heels for as long as possible’. And I did, for 45 seconds! hahahahaha

So what’s the difference between my biological family stalking me and me stalking a fellow runner? I know that my intention was to simply make myself better. To run a bit faster. To push myself out of my comfort zone. To be inspired. Even if only for a few steps. Mind you, my training is not on a fixed schedule. At moment, I’m weather permitting. Leaning into bike riding, when the weather is questionable, I grab my running shoes! This is only the 3rd time that I’ve been at this specific training arena. And it’s the 2nd time that I’ve seen this runner. Last time was in the afternoon. This time was in the morning. I do not classify my actions as stalking but others might. Which is kind of irrelevant but worth acknowledging because it might be the same for my biological family. I think they are stalking, they might not. Interesting…

Perhaps this is the epiphany necessary for me to reinforce compassion. To remain calm. To not concern myself with my surroundings but to maintain focus within. Perhaps my family isn’t stalking me because they want to cause me harm. Perhaps they are stalking me because I inspire them. They want me to pull them out of their comfort zone? Even if it’s only for about a minute.

Hopeful thinking. I have over 2 decades of examples to prove that their stalking is not productive. I acknowledge that the moment of clarity is helping me reframe my situation. I acknowledge that my intentions vs perceptions might differ. I also acknowledge that I’m perfectly OK with it because I have peace in my heart. In December, I remember having a slight panic attack and ‘phoning a friend’ and coming up with a contingency plan in the event that my biological family stopped into the restaurant I was working at. Legit, I was convinced that my biological brother would bring our mother in on my birthday. The emotional mind is ridiculously powerful. And now, I am in a similar situation. Being a career athlete, there is a solid chance that someone will join my class that is directly connected to someone in my biological family. I’m OK with that. Rather than come up with some contingency plan of what on earth to do if one of my abusers shows up, I’m at peace. I trust the Universe. I also trust myself. And on a jovial note, I know that if/when they show up, it’s because they miss me and need a bit of inspiration.

My favourite mantra at the moment is having abnormal reactions to abnormal situations is 150% normal!!!

The focus remains inward. I have the peace in my heart and found another reason to laugh. I’ve said it a few times to my #1 stalker and it finally rang true in my heart, “Why are you so obsessed with me?”

Looking back to when I was heartbroken and trying to inspire my biological family, Poem: Do you know how it feels

#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #Depression #Anxiety #Paranoia #Stalking #DomesticViolence #Recovery #OneDayAtATime #SelfCare #Perspective #CPTSD #PTSD  #Trauma #EmotionalAbuse

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