“It’s a Process”
There are a few words that truly make me cringe when I’m sitting on the couch in therapy. Rape. Victim. Compassion. and Process. I suppose I’ll get to the former three at some point (and they may seem obvious to you,) but today I’d like to talk to you about the word process.
Therapist’s (and all help gurus, let’s be honest) seem to throw “process” around expecting all of the trauma ridden to catch and hold on to it like a Hope Ball. Thankfully, I’ve got a fantastic (or perhaps sort of odd) relationship with my therapist in which I throw back my annoyance with these words/terms very quickly. I’ve dubbed them as “pretty words.”
Here’s what I’d like to say. Fuck process. That’s right. FUCK.PROCESS.
Whew. That feels better.
Now that I’ve said it, I can move through my emotions on the topic without the total anger towards the sentiment. I can’t speak for everyone who is dealing with systemic and longitudinal trauma, but it’s exhausting to loop back over the same topics over and over and “feel” like no progress is being made. From MY side of the couch, it’s an orbit, where I’m orbiting out away from trauma symptoms (triggers/flashbacks et all) then launched past them again at supersonic and uncontrolled speeds. From THEIRS (or so say they all) it’s a process, and progress is made.
There’s a show called “The Profit,” which I’d call a mix of Shark Tank and Undercover Boss, where an investor comes in and helps to rescue a failing business. He has three points he addresses when he helps rescue the business; People, Product, and Process.
As I’ve spent more time in thought about why “process” bothers me so, this show keeps coming up. Perhaps I have an issue with this word because of the fact that process implies that we humans too are business like, and if we can just get our process together, we won’t be malfunctioning. If I am not broken (the person), if what I’m doing isn’t broken (product), then it must be how I’m doing it (process.)
Not only is that process something that is broken, but the process is always changing and needing to be altered for each situation, each person etc. It’s also a landmine trying to bring other people into my process. Trying to describe to someone how to navigate my process can seem totally ludicrous for a person who has not experienced trauma.
Yesterday evening, I was at another Authentic Relating event where a person was expressing how hard it was to have an experience that no one else could relate to, and how isolating that felt. They didn’t want to even try to explain it because they were concerned that it might make them look crazy. I wanted to scream, “BUT I GET THAT! I AM YOU! YOU ARE ME!”
Trauma is so isolating because we don’t talk about it. We sit in little rooms alone with therapists talking about our feelings, then leave to live our lives alone. We typically don’t talk about our trauma, even with our loved ones because they don’t ask and/or we don’t tell. It’s too uncomfortable for them, NOT because it’s too uncomfortable for US. We walk in the grocery store longing for a PTSD button on someone’s shirt so we can exchange glances and go “hey, I get you. Carry on, Warrior. Wanna talk about it over the squash? Because I SURE AS HELL DO.”
“Did you breathe today? Like a full breath? Dude, that’s amazing. I made it out of the house. Yeah, I know. I’m a fucking rock star. You are too.”
“You aren’t alone…”
“Fuck Process. Let’s just breathe today.”