I remember struggling with decisions—big and small—in my youth: Should I buy the shirt, take the class, break up with the guy, move home from Australia? I struggled with health anxiety and hypervigilance of my body, too. For me, the difficulty in knowing and trusting my own heart, mind, and body was a reflection of the trauma adaptations I’d unconsciously turned to for safety. On a personal level, I don’t know freed me from the pressure of responsibility, it confirmed the unconscious belief that I’m not to be trusted, and it solidified my antagonistic relationship with my body and her wisdom. I don’t know was, quite simply, self-protective.
On a collective level, I don’t know reflected all that I’d been born into as a daughter of the patriarchy. Society suggests in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that a womxn’s intuition is not valid, that our body (the ultimate truth gauge) is inherently flawed, and that our voices are too loud.
My self-doubt masqueraded as perfectionism for much of my life, and it served me for a time. But, ultimately, I don’t know left me feeling powerless, voiceless, and very sick.