There is a part of me that makes accusations, nasty ones. “You’re not good enough.” “You suck.” “You deserve everything that has happened.” “You are a f*ckup.” “If anyone knows how weak you are, you will be deserted.” “If people know you, they won’t like you.” And so much more. That part feeds shame and keeps me in hiding, and I know I am not the only one who has accusatory and shame parts.
And why would anyone talk about trauma with parts using their voices like that! They whisper that what I experienced (what others have experienced) wasn’t trauma. It was a series of choices with consequences. It was MY fault. It was your fault.
So far, the only solution I have found for those voices is to speak with them. I talk to the part that makes accusations, and I talk to the shame part. You know, I discovered that those parts do and say almost the exact opposite of what they want. The accusing part wants me to show up like the badass I am, and the shame part wants a voice—for me to speak about the shadows deep inside.
My inward parts are not doing what they really want, and neither am I. So, I asked them if they wanted to see what I can do—step up and out and be seen no matter what. Because if I can, so can they—with my help.
It took a little time and some (way too many) tears while sitting with a friend to tackle my first “project.” I entered a powerlifting competition, paid the fee, and became a member of Powerlifting America just so I could stand on a platform in a singlet and lift weights in front of a lot of people. I can’t tell you how many times I considered backing out. I can’t disappoint myself or others with how much I suck if I don’t show up. But, I have missed out on things I love because I have been afraid of failure—or simply not being the best. I couldn’t miss this opportunity. I had worked with my trainers and was finally injury-free for more than a couple of weeks (there is no guarantee that will happen again with the issues my body has). The thoughts, feelings, and sensations I had to work through to show up that day were at times unbearable, but I needed to show the parts that didn’t trust me that I am strong, capable, and won’t back down.
The other thing I both have permission to do from parts but am also committed to is talking about a “lesser trauma.” Truth be told, I have tried for years to work through something that has nearly taken my life many times, and it is just too difficult for me right now. But the little girl who experienced the “lesser trauma” is still lost in the woods and wants out. I can help her even if I can’t yet help the older Becks.
Lifting weights and speaking about trauma are too very different situations, but they both similarly activate the same parts, thoughts, and emotions. Lifting in front of people is like a physical representation of speaking about trauma.
Many years ago, I was told to think of something difficult and picture myself doing it. I was then given the opportunity to take a zip line as a physical symbol of doing that hard thing, but I didn’t because I was afraid. I was convinced I was forever bound to fail after that. I didn’t choose to lift in front of people because I was afraid not doing it would indicate failure in other areas. No, I did it because I did not want to be ruled by fear and shame.
Fear and shame are powerful, but they aren’t as powerful as me. They aren’t as powerful as you. Get on the platform, lift the heavy weight (whatever it is), and then pat yourself on the back because you did the dang thing. Then, do something else. Don’t stop there. I’m not going to.