+FIGHTING BACK AGAINST THE ABUSE SURVIVOR’S ALTERED PERITRAUMATIC SENSE OF TIME

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Although I feel it’s progress for me to have identified this feeling I live with most of the time, ‘prescience’ as described in this post

+IN MY RESPONSE TO MY MOTHER’S ABUSE: A GIFT

I also wish I could have one day, even part of one day, when I didn’t have to feel it.  It creates something almost like a loud, continual noise and therefore is always competing with my current reality for attention.  I guess that’s what it’s designed and built into me for.  Never as a child did I have a moment to simply feel happy, joyful, relaxed, safe, secure or free — and rarely do I have a chance to feel that way now.

As I pay attention to this ‘prescience’ feeling I am aware that it seems to be tied into the altered sense of the passage of time that I grew up with in the midst of trauma from the time I was born.  Peritrauma is the state in the middle of a traumatic experience, and it is known for creating this same sense of an altered sense of time passing.

I also believe that this peritraumatic sense of the passing of time collapses past and future into the present — not by leaving the past where it belongs ‘back there’ or by keeping a perspective on the future as ‘out there’ — but by bringing the full weight of ALL THREE awarenesses into each single passing instant of time in my present moment.

The state of peritrauma, existing as it does in the midst of an acute trauma experience, demands that we have at our immediate disposal EVERYTHING we might possibly know that is connected to our experience and that might (if even in the smallest way) help us survive the trauma we are in the middle of.

This acute peritraumatic condition most often happens in FAST time even though time can seem to slow down or stop completely.  This FAST condition most often relies most heavily on what our BODY remembers because that information bypasses the higher cortical regions of our more developed and ‘advanced’ brain that operate far more slowly.  (Maybe it is the competition between these two ways of operating in our body-brain that give us the mixed message at times of FAST and SLOW time happening AT THE SAME TIME!)

All of this action seems to combine for me into a state of overwhelming all-pervasive hyperawareness that I am not safe in the world at any given instant in time.  Especially when severe trauma and abuse build our body-brain in the first place from the time we are very tiny, ALL OF THAT TRAUMA was overwhelming to us.  We had no resources available to us that could help us survive and endure except for the automatic ones that are responses of the BODY and not of the consciously THINKING brain.

I find in my daily life that it is only by consciously recognizing the prescience state my body knows all of the time and by bringing verbal awareness (in thoughts) into this PTSD mix that I can back away from the noise I experience in my body-brain nearly all of the time.  This takes attention and energy and sometimes I resent that I have to constantly wage this battle for a sense of safety and security in this world.

This is directly tied into my knowledge that there was NOTHING FAIR about what happened to me in the first 18 years of my life, and there’s NOTHING FAIR about the aftermath that I live with.  And interestingly enough it is this very feeling state of resentment that gives me a handle in the present moment that I can grab onto in my efforts to turn down the volume of this noise.

Resentment IS an angry energy, a fight back energy, an active coping skills energy.  This energy is something I can WORK with, even if all I do when I feel it is STOMP MY FEET.  The Earth doesn’t mind!  I can then do something creative in THIS moment of my life with that energy — to help myself carve out a ledge to stand on in the PRESENT moment.

The more of the PRESENT moment I can wrestle out of my prescience-peritraumatic sense of a collapsed past-future into the present the more I can push back both the past and the future.  I can make space for myself to LIVE today.  I can talk to my body to let it know that ‘the sky is not likely to fall on my head today’, that I am OK!!!

At the same time this effort helps me to combat ‘derealization’ and ‘depersonalization’ one moment at a time.  It helps me to be a REAL PERSON as I let my body know I respect its efforts to protect me — but for this moment I need to make some room for ME to BE in the present moment today.

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