That what makes silence unique. It can mean nothing and anything at the same time: contradiction, anger, fear, surprise, indifference, self-reflection, just being busy, preoccupied by other things or sometimes punishment.
Having grown up with narcissist or abusing parents, silence usually means “the calm before the storm”. You made your point, you disappointed, you finally voiced or stood up for yourself (or your siblings sometimes), or you were simply being you ; but you know that the consequences gonna be immense and you try to get ready for what will happen next.
After successfully went on therapy for about six years (or as much successful it can be), I spent 10 years without any support. The fact that I moved to a foreign country probably contributed to my “miraculous” recovery but more certainly as I was busy becoming a mum, building my company and a new life abroad, my mind was nicely preoccupied.
Earlier this year, I decided to start a therapy again and opted for a new technique, called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. It is an interactive psychotherapy technique used to relieve psychological stress and has been recognised as en effective treatment for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, it does not always mean you have suffered PTSD. It is meant to break any associations you have between certain circumstances and symptoms.
Some of the side effects of this therapy is that you will continue to process things after each session. Following my first sessions, I was totally submerged by vivid dreams, that woke me up in the middle of the time – breathless and my heart pounding in my chest. Noises, flashbacks but mainly this overwhelming feeling of fear and insecurity.
Then the therapy started to produce some effects.
And we (mainly me but guided by my therapist) moved slowly on working into behaviours that I deeply wanted to change to finally let the past events behind me or at least help me to handle them.
I am not looking for excuses or trying to avoid being “difficult” during the process; working on beliefs you have since early childhood makes you certainly become unpredictable, self-centered and sometimes what can look cold-hearted.
It takes a lot of confidence, patience and love for the other person sharing your life to be able to cope with mood swings, change of behaviour or sometimes feelings or emotions that look totally disproportionate or unfair.
And it is even emphasised when your main issue is to voice what you feel and to get to trust people again, then your mind is paralysed – words are “flying” in your head without any structure and possibility to communicate with your loved one.
Coming back to silence (because this is what we were talking about) it can also mean that you don’t even know where to start, how to explain what’s going on and what triggered an emotional reaction because you are still figuring it out yourself.
It’s just shutting down. Waiting for the right moment to open up again.
And this moment might never come.