It Is Like this
On my drives to and from the mountains to visit my new “friend”, the radio signal/reception fades in and out. Shuffling through stations I am blown away by the number of songs that if asked if I knew them, I would think no. And then– songs I do not even know that I know, come on- the music takes me immediately back to a time where I first or last or regularly recall hearing it, and the feelings of that time. AND then– I in fact recall – every – single – word. All words, lyrics, even the chorus to songs I had forgotten even existed. This seems a perfect metaphor for trauma.
It is like this. PTSD is like this. Things happened—confusing and damaging things imprinted on me- events and dynamics, which for so long, I could not identify or fully remember, because I lacked the language, but those traumas (definition of trauma: deeply distressing experiences too big and difficult to process and manage alone) lived inside of me and shaped me, making it easy and desirable for those I burdened, to judge, label, dismiss me– as angry, peculiar, impossible, dramatic, selfish, lying, troublesome–an outsider. No good.
And still, decades later, when faced with a person who did the things OR even someone who reminds me of them, I am transported back to a moment of trauma, no longer in the real time- moment, in which technically I am now safe with actual choices. My body and brain react immediately and intensely to the trigger and enter into fight or flight mode. Because I am reacting to People(fromthe past) who felt inclined and entitled to to make me pay, put me in my place, make me sorry—for interfering with their plan or pleasure. And for judgy people who lack the ability to courageously engage in the work of healing, repairing, and growing, they righteously focus on illumination of a my reaction to pain caused by them— using terms like erratic, deranged…dedicated to undermining, smearing, discrediting me, in a way which makes them feel right, justified… superior. Catherine G Whitney Ghoneim
Attachment and repair are indicated as critical components to raising trusting, resilient children who will thrive in their personal relationships. Healthy Attachment being defined as deep knowing and belief that “I am safe. I matter. I am real” (as are my feelings and experiences) (even when they differ from yours)).
Am I real? Am I safe? Do I matter? The people older than and in charge of me made certain to insure that, for me, the answer to these three questions was a resounding NO. Communicating in all variety of ways that:
I am alone and discardable. That–My difficult feelings were unnatural, invalid, unwelcome, inadmissible: Expressing them in any way placed me in the crosshairs and I was handled accordingly: typically with mocking, silent treatment, banishment, and shunning.
Thankfully, I no longer worry(too much) about the unhealed people who misunderstand my reflection and healing for a need to rehash and a refusal to forgive, get over, move tf on. However, my need to diminish the shadow of my trauma and grief which falls squarely on my children, matters much more than the opionions of judgers with limited thinking. I am a work in progress. I heal for myself and those who love(with wholesome nurturing love- never desiring to punish) me.
I think in my family of origin as well as the family of my boys’ father, they have confused their retalliations for “natural consequences”. So grateful to now recognize that for what it is.Much Love,
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