How I learned I wasn't an introvert: Healing Social Trauma and Building Community
A big focus of my 30s has been dedicated to healing social trauma in myself. I used to think I was an introvert, or anti-social...later I thought, maybe I've got Asperger's? (Maybe I do.)
Now, I realize that I'm healing from social trauma and complex PTSD, stemming from the beginning of early childhood. It's been a weird and fascinating journey!
Back in 2013, I attended the Birth Without Fear Conference in DFW. I think it was the first one ever. I did henna art on dozens of lovely mamas there, and one said she lived "in Central Texas".
I said, "Oh, me too!"
However, both of us had been burned socially too many times, and didn't want to risk disappointment again - so we just added each other on social media and stayed virtual friends.
...for the next FIVE YEARS.
Only last year, we finally realized that we live quite close together, and now our daughters are best friends, and we laugh (and lament!) often about how it took us five years to realize that we could have been friends in person!
Since then, I've been recognizing more and more AWESOME people that live near me...and of course, it's not like all y'all just popped into existence recently.
Now I recognize that I was so keen to protect myself from more pain, that I'd been actively creating the circumstances I said I'd hated!
"You're the best-kept secret in Austin, Krystal!"
One of my friends in a local mastermind group said that to me, back in 2016. It made me glad - but also annoyed!
I was glad that he clearly saw the value in what I was able to offer for others! I was annoyed because...I didn't WANT to be a secret!
I wanted to actually HELP more people - but I had a TON of emotional blocks that were holding me down. (I'm still working on them!)
One of the funniest things about his statement was, I didn't actually live IN Austin - and I still don't.
I live in a rural area about an hour north of there. Many years ago, we started driving into Austin to make the social connections (and the income) we crave.
Because I didn't think I could find them here.
I grew up feeling like I was from outer space compared to the rest of those around me.
We're not involved with the military. We don't go to church, and I don't care about football or BBQ either. Don't get me started on rural conservative politics... (I don't even like sweet tea. I know that makes me a bad Texan!)
Incidentally hilarious: I recently discovered that there's a geographical-location component to astrology. Certain places are said to be more favorable to live in, visit, etc.
It's hilarious because on my chart, there's a thick black line that basically runs parallel to the main highway between my house and Austin, indicating that HERE is the most challenging place on the planet for me to live!
The universe has a great sense of humor, doesn't it?
Sometimes, you just need to hear it from the right person
One of my mentors in doTERRA has the most refreshing, lovely, and grounded energy. She's an introvert, a joy to be around - and she's also a Presidential Diamond (i.e. she's helping LOTS of people!!).
Last year, at our team party (after watching me dance and laugh with everyone there) - she told me something that shocked me.
She said, "Krystal, I've been watching you all night. You are NOT an introvert!"
In that instant, she invited me to release myself from a narrative that I'd created out of denial, anger, and disappointment.
I realized that it was easier to decide that I was anti-social than to keep getting hurt by people who either didn't understand me, or wanted to bleed me dry emotionally.
We all take on beliefs to protect ourselves, and sometimes they're really deeply programmed and hard to release.
Healing social trauma can be a very complex process. Luckily, meeting even one fantastic person that you can be yourself around really helps!
Once upon a time, I thought I should do everything to help anyone who wanted me to.
Eventually, I realized how much that left me vulnerable to abuse and manipulation.
So, the "anti-social" narrative I created was useful because it allowed me to go deep into myself and my family, to insulate myself in order to heal my heart.
But it's not Who I Am. I care deeply about humanity, and not just as an abstract concept, but about individual people - people I meet and can connect with in everyday life!
One of the most foundational things about doTERRA is, it's a relationship business. In other words, to be successful - you have to treat it like a business, AND you have to nurture the relationships you build with others. If either component is missing, it won't "work".
For me, that's been both the most simple and the most challenging thing to grasp.
For me, doTERRA has been a major catalyst for healing social trauma.
Some of my most gnarly and triggering personal growth has come up, because building a doTERRA business has asked me, again and again, to look at how I've been wounded in the past, and to recognize that I can easily write a new future, with the right people - if only I'm willing to face the narratives that no longer serve me.
This isn't about tearing down walls (because boundaries are important) but healing social trauma has become more important than keeping everyone else out.
It's time I built some doors into my walls!
I am in business to help people, and I’m committed to stepping out of my comfort zone as many time as it takes to rewrite my story.