Trauma-Based Decisions: Don't Do Det!
It was the nice smile for me. That drew me in, made my heart flutter, and my knees weak. It was the voice that calmed my anxiety and encouraged my curiosity to learn the depths of him. The chocolate skin that resonated so deeply with our heritage. The height that exuded safety and reminded me of the male kin in my life. The quiet and sincere demeanor that radiated peacefully.
I was sure that this was the one. Oblivious that the years would fly by and all of the unspoken expectations, past hurts, unequally yoked-ness, lack of communication, and nudges from God would ultimately say otherwise.
Hurt by its ending, I made a vow to never date anyone that may even remotely resemble the likeness – and not just his appearance, but his characteristics and all. My friends agreed, “maybe it’s the type of guys you go for. You need to date the opposite.”
So, I did…
I’m going to leave my formal voice for a moment to tell you about this once in a lifetime experience:
I went on a “date” (I use that term very loosely) with this guy that my friend knew and introduced me to (I know she’s going to read this – so sis, please know that I am still plotting my revenge 😊). We met up, and everything was fine besides the fact that he seemed a little nervous and different. No big deal. We began conversing and asking the typical first date questions: What do you like to do? Where were you born? Whatever, whatever. But then the conversation took an abrupt turn that I was not expecting nor interested in discussing. We were talking about food, I let him know that my go-to option is chicken tenders (mind your business, lol). He proceeded to change the conversation within seconds to tell me “upfront,” everything that he would not do sexually…
Sir, don’t do det!
I was so caught off guard, I don’t even remember what I said or did, but I’m sure my face shared it all. Talk about disgust!!
I tried to force myself to like these men, despite the obvious lack of connection. I mean, I prayed fervently that God would change my desires. But it didn’t work.
Can I let you in on a little secret? 80% of my past decisions were trauma-based. Not that something super extreme happened, but because of what I saw, witnessed, or experienced was traumatic for me in some way. So, I purposely chose to do the complete opposite. So much so that I often moved based on the fear that I would succumb to the same bad experiences I witnessed, not realizing, until recently, how crippling that is.
I thought I was learning. I used the idea of growing from my past and fear of repetition interchangeably – how deceiving the two can be when intertwined.
I purposely chose the opposite of every similar situation. Driven by fear, I went so hard to overcome obstacles, crush every goal and decision I made. However, I wasn’t learning - I was running. I wasn’t happy - I was hurting. It wasn’t humbling - it was crushing me.
And I often avoided something, not because I didn’t like it, but because I thought it’d produce the same kind of consequences as before. Though that may be true, rather than healing from that trauma and THEN deciding, I let it drive me TO decide, as a result of.
I believe that decisions should be made with a clear head and heart, with wisdom and intellect, and with courage. Assess the situation and decide accordingly to what’s best for your well-being and maturity, not from the result of your hurt (the latter most likely will result in nothing but a bad date, child).
No, I am not an expert – but let me offer you some information for your consideration: trauma-based decisions are not helping you but hindering you.
Here’s the link to the video that inspired this week’s title: