One load of laundry is not longer dirty. Its time in the space of the washing machine is over. These items from that load are now hanging on the clothesline where they will be completely dried in less than ten minutes. Another load of dirty clothes are in the washer now. You all know the pattern – and the ‘drill’.
A SIMPLE process of tracking something in time and space.
No so simple for a body-brain stuck in a world of unresolved trauma.
An altered sense of the passing of time is a most common and well known aspect of the peritraumatic experience of enduring trauma WHILE IT IS HAPPENING.
Unresolved trauma means that this state of peritrauma – along with its dissociation and its altered sense of the passing of time — simply remains as a permanent state.
In my mother’s trauma altered development the natural cycles of beginning, middle and end did not WORK regarding her projections onto me.
Because she could not tolerate her own internal sense of being ALWAYS bad, and because she projected that unending state of being out onto ME, I was ALSO permanently BAD and evil.
I was ALWAYS evil. I was ALWAYS bad. There was no beginning (other than in the time of my mother’s labor with me as I ‘tried’ to kill her). There was no middle and there was no end.
My mother was ALWAYS trying to FIX me. She could NEVER accomplish her goal no matter how hard she ALWAYS worked at it. As a consequence I was NEVER safe and secure. I NEVER knew when her next attack would happen or why. I NEVER knew when the attacks would end. I NEVER knew why they happened in the first place.
I cannot describe to anyone who has not experienced this kind of abuse what living in this state of perpetual threat and trauma is like. People in the immediate intimate vicinity within such an abusing family also know from the outside as witnesses what this KIND of perpetual abuse is like – because their environment is NEVER truly safe and secure, either.
Never good enough. Always bad.
When people write and think about the splitting and projection of the Borderline brain-mind, it is important to realize that the root-stem of these patterns no doubt lie in trauma-related changes that happened within the earliest developmental stages of body-brain growth for these survivors.
TRAUMA itself does not let go if it is not resolved. As I have said on this blog so many times if something useful for the survival of the individual and of the species is NOT learned from a traumatic experience the operation of the peritraumatic cycle related to time and space will just SIT there and rot — suspended in time and space — just as surely as my clothes would do if my washing machine got stuck in its cycle and nobody did anything to rescue the laundry!