+PERSONAL ‘UNITED STATES OF EMERGENCY’

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If I were a more-healed person I would today be able to upgrade what concerns me.  However, what I am experiencing right now is first and foremost evidently of a deeply personal nature.  (Darn it!)

I do not know exactly what the triggers are and have been that are contributing to this very high anxiety ‘state’ that I am in.  The birth of my 2nd grandson?  I don’t know.  The changes in what will so entirely occupy the energies of my daughter after this birth — and with a husband, full time demanding occupation from which she has only 6 weeks off, the combining of her needs with mothering a 2-year-old?

And I as her mother, and grandmother?  I WANT to be nothing but affirming and supporting to my daughter.  I want to ‘caregive’ to her – but I know enough about what the research says, that those of us severely traumatized, abused, neglected – so unsafely and insecurely attached to ANYONE during our early years have insecure attachment patterns in our body-brain that mean our own attachment system — demanding that our own attachment needs FEEL unmet — does not turn itself off in ordinary ways.  And when an insecure attachment pattern cannot turn OFF appropriately — neither — then — can our caregiving system be turned ON.

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I am in the middle of completely cleaning my house before I travel north in a month to see my family.  I am moving things around, changing things – shifting all the patterns inside the dwelling that I live in.  This is very hard work for me.  There is nobody here to help me move the furniture.  There is nobody here but ME to do this job — period.  It’s a job I am not enjoying!

Yet at the same time it seems that something MAJOR is changing itself around inside of my SELF.  This is the HARD WORK!

I feel blind.  I cannot see what it is that needs changing.  I cannot tell how I am carrying this task out.  I can’t find what inner resources I could find and use in myself to make this job easier — or in the end more successful.

So – I am left now carrying on this house cleaning — literally inside and outside of myself — one teensy weensy step at a time.  I have to trust that what I am doing will all come together in the end and ‘things’ will be more beautiful, more perfect.

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Ah.  That word.  PERFECT.  There is HUGE TROUBLE brewing, no BOILING and turning into stormy steam inside of me around the concept of a ‘perfect world’.

Connected to PERFECT are two other words that I need to deeply explore within myself:  JUSTICE and FAIRNESS.

This triad — I cannot pull these three concepts apart from one another at the same time I cannot even say on what level I have any idea what any of these words actually MEAN.

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All I know now is that from the start of my life as an abused infant and child I was ALWAYS told that all problems in my mother’s life, in my father’s life, in the life of my entire family were MY FAULT.

In essence this message was always tied to the fact (to Mother) that my being born ‘spoiled her life’, spoiled everything.

I was TOLD in every conceivable way that what was WRONG in the world (which in our sick family consisted ONLY of what happened within our sick family) – was my fault.

Somehow – as I start with the knowns as tools for this deep cleaning and sorting I am doing — I grew up ALWAYS believing this because I had no possible way to get any kind of idea that this was not TRUTH.

Part of what so thoroughly impacted how I grew to see the world and my not-place in it was that Mother frequently removed me from her ongoing life and the life of my family by isolating me, by banishing me, by confining me, by vanishing me.

This aspect of Mother’s insane abuse of me began when I was born and I ‘disappeared’ inside a bedroom within my crib behind a closed door.  It progressed into days running into weeks of being stood in corners, confined to my bed — progressing to being locked in a shed, stuffed for a night bent over under our car’s steering wheel in my teens – BIG ETC. here!

My only concern at the moment with any of this is that I always knew a PERFECT LIFE was going on while I WAS NOT IN IT.  I can see this in the family pictures — everyone else having a wonderful time doing this, doing that — I am not in the pictures.  Often if I do appear in the pictures I am way off to the side, physically separated by distance, by clear body language, from the body of my family.

So, my absolute deepest desire to have the world be a perfect place — is it only because THEN I COULD LIVE IN IT MYSELF?  If the world were perfect – Linda would then be ALLOWED to live in it?

I don’t want to admit that this small and self-centered ‘motive’ is behind the frequent reactionary anger/rage/irritation I feel when I am confronted  with ‘things’ in our society that seem WRONG to me and that seem illogical, that do not seem RIGHT and do not make sense.

I could make a long list of what I consider to be unjust in the world.  I see the world deteriorating on so many, many IMPORTANT and trivial levels.

But I do NOT wish to feel disharmony, resentment, self-righteousness, condemning, judgmental, or any other ‘negative’ feeling inside of ME when I detect injustice and/or unfairness in the world.  I cannot be a part of the solution at the same time I am carrying negativity that is a part of the problem within me.

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People talk about ‘trauma triggers’ as if they are items one could list on paper like making a shopping list — that clearly.  When severe abuse starts at birth and things never get any better as a child/teen — and in my case — being ALIVE, just BEING HERE — is a trauma trigger!

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I guess the neat and clean and tidy and organized, etc. patterns that I am working to create here as I (as my friend calls it) ‘reconfigure’ my outer dwelling place is being mirrored on my insides.  I have not made any significant progress on either task yet — but I am determined.  I am willing.  I will be hopeful and patient.  I will pray for assistance and for forgiveness for the flaws inside of me — no matter how they GOT there — find a way to disappear.

I do not underestimate the difficulty of my task – especially my inner one. I don’t have a firm foundation of balance inside of me from my beginning of life that set me off in the right direction.

I do understand that there is some kind of miracle that I live with — that I could go through such unbelievable hell for 18 years — and still even begin to think that there COULD be such a thing as a perfect world!  Why do I care so much that beauty and goodness, truth, justice, fairness prevail over chaos, stupidity, sickness and darkness?

At present I cannot separate what I know, what I feel, what I believe, what I need to change — all the complex inner states inside of me — enough to simply, instantly magic-wand-CHANGE how I feel and how I react.  I don’t know the easy way to become different than how I am right now.

All I know is that I have work to do.  So I will go do it.  I don’t want to live feeling and reacting the way I am now.  I want to be BETTER!!  NEVER perfect – just better.

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10 thoughts on “+PERSONAL ‘UNITED STATES OF EMERGENCY’

  1. What a brave and amazing son! So solid in himself! I loved that story and
    Its given me courage. Thanks for sharing it – and so glad some smiles came
    Through at that memory. You taught him a lot I think – what a capable peson
    And brave you are.

    Learning that I’m a separate person from my mother and observing her from a
    distance – maybe this I need to learn and practice through occassionally seeing her.
    Well, I feel like that was a big shift for me!
    Thanks so much for sharing all that.
    Xxxx

  2. Why do I see her.. I have thought only this year of
    Not seeing her – first time in my life it occurred to me!
    I see her because its so difficult to break away completely.
    My brother and other family would call me and ask about it.
    My mother is not above making a huge fuss – she already has
    Called the a colleague and spun a story. But I am going more
    and more low contact. I do want to enjoy the rest of my life.
    Actually, I guess I’m just still afraid but its getting less and I’m
    moving forward more and more.. Thanks for asking that question!
    Xxx

    • I in no way write this meaning disrespect or minimization of your mother woes – I sure had my own!! But something popped into my head and brought a little smile to me in response to reading your words. A smile! Sunshine after rain – following yesterday’s healing tears…..

      I moved (yet again) with my son the year he entered 6th grade to a conservative town where at least there were lots of minimum wage jobs and LOTS of cheap books I could buy as I saved an inventory to begin to support us on income from an online used book biz.

      We were there his 7th grade, also. In that year I asked him if he had made any friends at school – so far he had seemed content to be at home without any kid contact between school days.

      “Oh, no, Mom,” he replied. “I don’t have friends at school. I have specimens.”

      Oh, he was serious as well as nonplussed. He told me how weird all the kids were, how closed minded and to him, just plain ridiculous. This was a ‘redneck’ and highly prejudicial area of the nation (as most are). But his enjoyment was simply in watching them like a scientist viewing the processes of an experiment.

      Later he also talked to me about groups of boys who had intent to bully him. He always walked down the dead-center of the school hallways, and how groups of boys with grumpy mouths and furrowed brows over their scrunched up eyes, shoulders hunched not unlike little wannabe apes, would stomp down the hall directly at him.

      His extremely effective comeback was to stare the lead ape straight in the eye as he walked steadily and directly at him. He greatly relished the pack’s reaction! He watched their expressions change into wider and wider eyed amazement as they ALWAYS parted and let him pass by like a flag pole splits the wind.

      ++

      You are brave! I imagine there is much to learn about self and mother if contact can be managed safely. My mother had absolutely no power over me or my siblings by the time I disowned her. We became quite the united front in our mutual comprehension of her sickness – though it still took me nearly 25 more years to completely understand the nature of what had she had TRULY done to me — and to begin to really understand the nature of her mental illness.

      Sometimes now I play with the wonderment of what it would be like to see my mother knowing what I know now — anticipating that I could be as remote and detached and curious and untouched by her as my son was by his ‘specimens’ — because the disease of our mothers DID turn them into specimens. Gaining the ability to view them without any emotional connection in our own body and minds would be a challenge of a lifetime — but is NOT impossible! xoxoxo

  3. I also feel such gratitude when people ‘love’ me – its hard to
    Understand that its normal for other people to care in a neutral
    Way. But I believe this: the universe is made of love – hard
    Tho it is sometimes to grasp that and know what love is.

    At the moment I’m in bed with bronchitis – I have a tendency to
    Feel unwell before seeing my mother. I do think its connected!
    I had a beautiful dream last week – of swimming in the ocean and
    Diving down to avoid a huge wave. The sea was so deep, blue, endless,
    It was a little scarey but at the same time I felt held in the water gently
    – with no sense of being controlled. I was alone but knew I wasn’t really
    Alone.

    Hope you can carry some of your space with you – its still there, holding you
    And that you can go to it sometimes when you need reassurance!

    Anyway, love and warmth coming to you across the miles!

    • Hi hope you feel much better very soon, that your healing is swift. Why do you see your mother, if you don’t mind me asking? Toxic is toxic – and toxic made us sick and makes us sick.

      I don’t think people with safe and secure attachment patterns from infancy EVER EVER even COULD think about thanking people for loving them like you and I do — and yes I agree absolutely that the universe is created from love – !

      Sending some your way – and your dream sounds fantastic – thank you for sharing it!!! xo

  4. Wow, so its scarey on SO many levels! Shame (that’s a SA expression meaning sorry about something
    Another is going through!).
    I also understand about wanting to be perfect to get love then the whole sorrow of not ever being sure of
    When I’m going to be so bad that I’ll lose it. Lately I’ve been aware of trying to get my therapist to love me
    And at the same time worrying about when she will discover how bad I really am and then of course reject me.
    I know this happens in degrees for many people but for abuse survivors it profoundly limits our ability to just ‘be’.
    Last year in late October-Nov I had a meltdown because my abansonment was triggered in a big way. I literally
    Went into fight/flight/freeze and couldn’t talk – derealisation etc. This is when I realised how much my childhood
    Had had an effect. That’s when I realised abandonment issues certainly vary in intensity!

    Your kids sound like great people! You have managed SO amazingly as a mother – I would be terrified at the thought
    Of being a mother! They are there for you and you are for them. You put your fear into words so well.
    I really like how you and your daughter relate – just from the few posts I’ve seen.

    These things are very painful. Glad you having healing cries.. I hope you’ll post your doings so we can hear a bit about the
    grandsons..

    take care of yourself!! Xxxxxx

  5. Wow, how amazing you are Linda. With so much
    Of an understanding of what is going on inside.
    So few people can put this into words – even tho you
    Are still not sure what the triggers are and you are
    Trying to feel your way along. Are you feeling distressed
    about leaving your space? I get very attached to places –
    Because there was no one to attach to. It is so scarey
    To go into a different environment – with so much that is new
    That is happening around.

    I have been camoflauging myself – went under cover for the
    Last few weeks because I had an impending visit from my mother
    Looming. It kept being postponed so I stayed hidden but now the visit
    Is over. This visit was different – in me – I managed to keep a little feeling
    Of calmness and kindness towards myself.. HUGE step.

    Congratulations on the birth of the little one!

    I’ll be thinking of you so much!
    Xxxxx

    • You are so exactly correct, Gingercat! I am deeply panicking about leaving the safety of my home!!!!!! I am terrified in all ways – and so torn – and so hard on myself!!

      I want to be a perfect mother! I want to be a perfect grandma! I am terrified of making ‘mistakes’ up there!!!! I don’t get to see my precious children very often – which creates, at least for me, a massive pile-up of expectations and hopes and fears.

      It all leaves me crying — as now……

      Not that the crying is a negative happening!!! Everything I go through right now I so want to be healing!!

      Thank you for understanding, for caring, for giving me this vision of your own needs and difficulties – solutions – and success!!

      This is like PMS BIG TIME!! Women understand this! At nearly 61 – not the real reason — but……

      Most of all, as I experienced in practice with a new dear friend yesterday — it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to understand, therefore to accept — that ANYONE can love me if I am not PERFECT!!! To be a bitch on occasion, to miss a beat as they tell me something of importance to them in conversation – any TINY LITTLE THING that I judge of MYSELF that I have ‘done wrong – I expect to get that look from them, that cold harsh hard frozen look — that lets me know I BLEW IT!!

      I plug on. I toddle on. thank you so much for being HERE! with love, Linda – alchemynow

    • And – with the trauma altered development of my body-brain – I cannot read social cues correctly – which is a huge detriment in being able to be proactive when in meaningful exchange with people!

      I feel so burdened by this – blind and so at risk for blind-siding myself and those I care about (all people, really, in nearly every SOCIAL situation!). I WANT to ‘be good’, to ‘do good’, to get things RIGHT, keep things on-track – but I can MISS so much of exchanges, so many millisecond facial cues, body language, tones of voices — things can build up – and YES avoidable errors can be made – that I NEVER SEE COMING! And therefore cannot avoid.

      Honestly – for those of us who know this experience from our insides as severe early trauma, abuse and neglect survivors — it is heartbreaking!!! (Hence, no doubt, these tears I just mentioned)

    • Also – I cannot believe that people love me because I am LOVABLE! No, I thank people for loving me. I give them great credit for being super-special, nearly super-human people for having such great special powers inside of them THAT THEY CAN LOVE ME!!!???!!

      This is a state of unbelief, a state of nonbelief — it is the opposite of TRUST – because these same people MIGHT in an instant choose to NOT love me – no matter what I do or do not do.

      I cannot understand that I cannot manipulate people by my being ‘good enough’ into loving me. Therefore I cannot create the reverse, either!!!

      And, as said before – none of this is even speaking about our feeling of not being able to FEEL what it FEELS like to be loved – (We severe early abuse survivors are so far off the map of ‘having abandonment issues’ in the way it’s usually spoken of that it nearly makes me laugh!)

      Having this all built into us through the quality of our earliest attachment relationships – one way or the other — means that for we survivors the best we might be able to accomplish is to understand how what happened to us — did this to us

      (Readers who know inside their own self what I am writing will not twist my words to mean anything other than exactly what I am saying.)

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