I fell into a chasm today. I don’t know when but I probably know how. Being a bridge between the lived experience of being a being so changed by early caregiver relationship trauma (as “they” call it) means I live with a different kind of geography inside of me. There are breaks where they shouldn’t be. There are gaps and losses, wishes and hopes smashed, missing pieces, lost dreams.
Somewhere in all my neuroscientific study today I encountered a piece that said, “60% of Americans experience at least one severe trauma in their lives and 40% don’t.”
I can’t remember where I read that! Of all the notes I took today I lost the reference for that one. The most important one it seems to me as four hours after first trying to sleep tonight I am still awake, still struggling. How is it possible for any one person to go through their entire life without a trauma?
What world does that happen in?
Am I that out of touch? 60% is still a LOT of people. And there’s us. Those of us who knew very little that wasn’t trauma when we were little. At least that was my world for my first 18 years. I feel like I life on some skinny jut of land out into some foreign dark water where no other life I can see or hear keeps me knowing I have a void inside of me that will not be filled in this lifetime.
I try to study the actualy facts, the neuroscience research that documents this and that and that and this that goes so wrong in the entire developing brain and body of a baby exposed to severe, chronic, unending, unendurable trauma that – indeed – life makes sure we survive. Thinking in all those cold hard facts seems to have snapped something inside of me, some little warm connection I seem mostly to keep ahold of — that today I lost. Completely lost.
I am wondering if that kind for dense close cold reading took me far out to sea and then left me there to live or to die. Yes. These things do happen. But I didn’t see this coming. I didn’t see myself going out with some invisible tide in the ‘abstract’ direction, so far out now when I try to sleep I can’t seem to find my real self anywhere. Not that I am certain that I HAVE a real self, but I usually have at least some makeshift version of a real self I at least DON’T FEEL LIKE THIS!
All those researchers, psychotherapists, news people, book writers who so seem to have ALL the answers. If they don’t they seem to be quite sure of themselves and quite content stating whatever small facts their particular focus of study has given to them.
Then. Here I am. A continent of discontent — and I now know why — but I don’t think I belong to the group that can PROVE what I know.
I’ll get past this. I always have found a way to go UP again after I have gone DOWN again. I think there’s a kind of lesson in how I feel right now. I was not cautious. I did not monitor my emotional reality state as I plowed and plowed through information about the insides of all of us. What does right. What goes wrong. I will have to more carefully consider where I am going to take myself and my mind next in my work on this trauma thing. Carefully consider.
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