The Purple Pinkie Toe and Understanding My Own Trauma

A stylized graphic of an injured foot.

I stubbed my pinkie toe, hard. As I groaned and hopped across the room, I thought “Is this in the universe telling me to slow down?" My intuition was quick with an answer, “yes”. Over the next few days, I spent a lot of time on the sofa with the toe, that had become purple, elevated.

I like being productive and hadn’t taken a day off in weeks. This is a pattern for me that goes way back to when I worked in accounting and finance. I often need the universe to slow me down before I’ll give myself rest. Being on my sofa for a few days was an unexpected opportunity for me to address that unhealthy pattern and to really see it for what it is, a trauma response.

Neglect has been part of my life experience for as long as I can remember. From early childhood into adulthood. It’s been a mindset for me, and the result was I over gave. I gave everything I had to everyone else but myself. Of course, it was much to the detriment of my health and my life. I never consciously thought that what I was doing was a trauma response, but now I see it was.

For a while now, I knew I had been over giving to some of the people I saw as the ones who neglected me. No doubt I was seeking love and acceptance, but I was looking for love in all the wrong places, as the old song goes.

I didn’t see myself as an over giver. I saw myself as a loving, kind, generous person. And eventually, I learned that my interactions with people, and jobs, were unbalanced. There was nothing reciprocal in my relationships. I was the giver and nearly everyone else was the taker. It was a pattern throughout much of life.

Some of the major themes of my awakening have been self-love, self-care, and self-esteem. Me, and how I see myself, has been a part of the inner work that I’ve been doing for years. I have been learning an entirely new and authentic way of being. My awakening has been about doing the work and rebuilding myself.

Part of that work is understanding my pattern of toxic productivity as a trauma response. Another part of it is learning a new pattern, learning when to rest before the universe steps in and sets me down. I’ve been learning to take care of myself lovingly to heal that trauma.

These realizations, this growth, is hard. Admitting to myself that I’ve been neglected by everyone around me, and myself worst of all, is hard. Understanding my trauma is hard. But once it is in our awareness, acknowledged, the healing can begin. With healing we can then begin to find a new way of being, a new way of living our lives and new relationships with ourselves and others.

A lot of these deeper, more hidden wounds and lessons have been coming up for me in recent months. They are things that had never occurred to me before, such as neglect being a form of trauma and toxic productivity being a response. I’ve since been able to bring those shadow aspects into the light and bring some healing to them.

I’m grateful for the shadow coming to light. I’m grateful to see myself in a new way. I’m grateful for the growth and realizations. And it all started with a purple pinkie toe.

My most recent video on YouTube is a reminder to be present with the beauty and magic of life. Click here to watch it. 

Today’s image was made in Canva.

I’m grateful you’re here. I love you.

Be well,