Dancing is a good and happy activity even when dancing alone. Yet no one would ever wish to have been so traumatized growing up that even the self itself has been forced to never truly dance alone. Some fraction of our awareness is always focused somewhere, never feeling safe.
I am fully aware that all I am belongs to me. To this one single me. Yet “Who’s on first?” or “Who is in the driver’s seat?” is often not a part of me who maintinas central awareness by choice. And heightened stress — be it ‘good’ or ‘bad’ stress — in my life can so easily change that word “often” to “usually.”
I don’t like that. I don’t WANT to live this way.
I suppose that because I have been living a stable destressed life alone for a number of years in my little house with my animals and gardens, with a small town nearby where there are friends to visit when I want to, I have calmed down greatly. And yet because I have made the decision to move from here far, far north to be with young grandbabies and my daughters I have chosen to open a floodgate of stress that can threaten to turn me upside-down and inside-out.
I have to pay attention. I have to be extra careful of myself. Even opening my blog right now to write this post and seeing that WordPress has made changes to the way things look here STARTLED me! What am I equipped to cope with? What not? How do I transition without flying apart like an exploding supernova?
All I can do is take this all one step at a time – in ORDER. Order is good. Trauma is chaos. I will try very hard not to insert the chaos of my severely traumatized self into any part of this process and situation where trauma does not exist!
In the meantime because of these years of calmness and because of my writing work both on this blog and for the books, I have learned a lot that I can use to help myself. As this moving process begins to move forward I look for changes especially in how I am within my body.
I mentioned in a previous post my great difficult both with sleeping and with breathing. I found myself totally holding my breath, withholding my exhale, even as I wrote that sentence. At night I can feel many “identities” within me competing for the right to breath or not to breath. This is very scary and uncomfortable for ME.
One of my solutions is to alter my bedtime pattern to make sure I take a warm shower before bed, spray on some good smelling something, light an incense stick (I don’t use these regularly, only in “emergencies” when something is emerging from deep within me), and I spread a sheet down in the middle of my living room carpet to sleep on the floor rather than try to sleep in my bed. (Yes, I have versions of bed-sleeping trauma that makes going to sleep in a bed a trauma trigger much of the time for me.)
My self wisdom came up with the floor plan (ha! ha!) for sleeping because it forces me to focus as a ‘one being’ on exactly what I feel like with my body on the floor. How do I shift and turn and move and arrange myself to be comfortable takes some thought — useful, productive thought — which takes my focus off of any other stressful thoughts over things that do not belong in my mind in the middle of the night. I am continuing to look for things I can change versus things I can’t.
Well, this all makes sense to me?!?!?! The bed-sleeping trauma trigger difficulties are ongoing no matter how destressed my daily life is. It always takes energy and effort for me, on some level, to sleep. Because of the escalation now of my life stress I can’t do both jobs at the same time.
As I sleep on the floor I have used my version of an active coping ability to solve the compounding problem. In addition, I can pay attention using active coping abilities to make myself comfortable enough to get to sleep – although it can still take hours.
The breathing competition is not something I want to get into the middle of to try to figure out how to STOP that business. I have recognized that these difficulties are escalating due to my decision to try to make some positive changes in my life. Change cannot happen without a disturbance of the status quo, and being a trauma survivor means that change to me is always super stressful!
I will work with the breathing issue via the yoga breathing book as soon as this cleansing I wrote about in the last post is over. But I wanted to mention the third realization that has come to me related to why I have for so many years avoided going back to northern cold (Fargo is like Siberia in the winter) places. COLD HURTS! Well, because I endured so many horrible beatings over the 18 years of my childhood having my body sick or HURTING is a direct trauma trigger to my past body memories of pain.
Well, I am thankful for this insight into the cold-pain-trauma connection! I can work with this now when I am north and the bitter cold winds slice me. It is NOT nice to hurt! But, I can make sure to find the very best winter clothing and wear it rather than trying to dash around not adequately dressed for winter.
There are many other concerns that are going to appear as I go through this process. I am super aware post-cancer treatment trauma that if I am stressed and someone is trying to give me information I will not be able to comprehend — not even follow their wording — a single thing until they slow way, way, way down and talk to me in kindness.
Even the technical problems of deciding what to keep, what to do with what I don’t NEED to take, how this move is going to be paid for (I need help and I hate asking for or needing help!), who will help me get a truck to rent because I do not have a credit card, even the stress of leaving my home and garden, my friends, these lovely mountains, this lovely climate — all of this has the potential to upset me.
Knowing more about myself now helps a lot! I HAVE to know myself! Nobody else will! What I need from others is patience and kindness when they interact with me. I hope for the best — in all of us.
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