+NO MATTER HOW CAREFUL

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Sunday, September 29, 2013.  I don’t expect this post to come out especially coherently.  Lack of coherence.  Remember?  That state is directly tied to adult insecure attachment disorders and the inability of severe early trauma survivors to NOT ONLY tell a coherent life story narrative but ALSO to the inability when under extreme stress/distress/duress in the present moment to even LIVE one’s life in what feels like a coherent fashion.

Trauma survivorship does not, in my opinion, lend itself in any way to leading a coherent (linear) life.

I also think about the brain (and nervous system) developmental changes that early trauma survivorship creates for us.  (Yet again, please read this article! +Dr. Teicher’s ARTICLE ON TRAUMA ALTERED DEVELOPMENT)

Our brain hemispheres do not develop to process information within themselves and between one another in anything like an ordinary way.  Coherence is often one hard-worked-for result of paying very close conscious attention to what information is coming into us, what it triggers, what associations are created, etc.

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I fortunately was able to talk on the telephone several times today with my friend Cindy (I mentioned in my previous post) who is coming down this coming Thursday to boss me around (lol!) to get this move literally ON THE ROAD!  She is perfectly coherent!  I will literally borrow her coherency and as the long-time, close and dear friend that she is she does/will not mind one bit!

I am very clear when something in a conversation right now triggers my Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) lack of coherency.  There are several ways to name this state (besides frantic panic as I referred to it in a recent post.)  Dysregulation, disorganization-disorientation, dissociation — all are signposts for we survivors when a state of extreme demands of current life overtax our nervous system/brain.

I simply tell the people who love me “I cannot discuss this right now.”  I CANNOT because my brain goes blank, words disappear, high anxiety takes over my reality — etc.!!

My terminology with my friend today included “That is ahead of the curve.  I cannot think about that or talk about it right now.  I can only put one foot, one thought, in front of another until this move is completed.”

I found in talking with my friend that this “NO ZONE” includes all that is POSITIVE as it MIGHT arrive in my future life chapter as well as anything scary or troubling.

This left me (right before I sat down to write this post) thinking about the insanity (and brutality) of my entire childhood.  I could not predict ANYTHING about myself in my life.  Therefore — and this is a new thought/awareness for me — I could not look forward to the future with any kind of pleasant assurances.  I HAD no future!

I have known for a long time that even by the time I reached my older teen years I had no capacity to think about my own future.  I see right now that was because in the way my nervous system/brain formed during my 18 years of insane, psychotic, brutalizing abuse I had never been able to form the brain connections that would have attached myself not only in my own immediate life — but also prevented me from thinking my way into my own future.

Because my Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) mother’s reality was psychotic, disorganized, disoriented and entirely reactive SHE kept me — as her captive in hell in place of herself — forever in exactly that same state from the moment I was born.

At this point in my life nearly everything coming at me from the future is entirely unknown.  Yes, I have been to Fargo before.  I am mostly familiar with the place and with the climate.  But where will I end up living?  Will I have transportation?  How will I manage in my so-scrambled state to take care of all the grownup details such as finding a program to pick up my medicare premium costs each month, apply for secondary insurance with the state, deal with the HUD rental assistance voucher transfer details, find an apartment — etc.?

MANGO.  My code word I am training my brain to use when overwhelming feelings tied to thoughts I do not have to think in the present moment so i can refocus immediately only on the tasks at hand that will get me and my stuff out of here!

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Speaking of MANGO.  I was on the phone with someone this morning who said something to me that triggered my reactivity.  I spoke up and faced the conflict immediately – which was good for me.  However, whatever that conflict was about vanished from my conscious thought sphere so quickly — even without a MANGO moment intervening so that I could DECIDE to let the concern go away.  That was dissociation.  An unsettling and always scary process for me.

That means that I cannot CHOOSE to consider that episode in my conscious mind.  It was taken care of so automatically that I — as a conscious self — completely lost my right to choose and decide how I wanted to handle the related feelings and thoughts.  Whatever that episode was about is NOT necessary gone forever.  It can reappear with a trigger anytime — to take me unprepared.

Well, this was not a big deal by itself.  However being left with the knowledge that yet again dissociation enabled me to get through and past a difficult moment so fast and so automatically and so unconsciously alerts me yet again to the very real understanding of how this moving/life change stress has me very near the limits of what I can cope with.  “Be ultimately careful of yourself, Linda!” are words I cannot afford to let get very far away from me right now!

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No matter how careful I tried to be as a child to make mother happy — which meant it made her not dangerous to me at the moment, although I didn’t know that as a child — I could NEVER prevent one of her frequent horrible attacks on me.  Even though I have only in this past year really come to understand (at age 62) that it was Mother’s PSYCHOTIC BREAKS that created this permeating and pervasive instability in my life (and hers) — I can look back at my entire childhood now and see those patterns for what they really were.

I will never be able to “let go” or “forgive” those episodes as someone suggested to me recently.  The problems for me are built into my nervous system, into my brain, my stress response system.  Given unusually high pressure such as this monster move is creating for me I have nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide, no escape — just as I did not all the way through my so-abusive, insane childhood.

That I made the CHOICE to make this life change does not ameliorate the difficulties living through the experience of it creates.  I can rely on the rock-solid stability of my friend to get me through the very hard steps that are approaching.  This is an appreciated miracle I do not take for granted!

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4 thoughts on “+NO MATTER HOW CAREFUL

  1. My dear, sweet father died this fall after a summer of hospice and lung cancer. Dad died in my hands and my comforting words and prayer. Bittersweet for sure.
    As your move shakes your world, daddy’s diagnosis and death shook mine. Dad tried to compensate for the obvious lack of succor from my mom. With every unknown in my life, I always had dad to turn to if things fell thru. I didn’t need to, but just knowing he was there was HUGE! Him dying and now being gone has made me crazy aware of how and who I am. Dad’s passing affected me somewhat like your move maybe. Everything is different now. You’re going to be fine. So am I. Both are huge learning experiences. Looking forward to more of your insights, thank you, Joan

  2. Your strength and courage are admirable..we’re prone to stagnating ( freezing). I wish I had your strength and community support. I’m 36 and I fear I’m not going to have a long life journey. I can’t seem to get support, keep calm, stop freezing…there are very few days where I’m lucid enough to string a sentence together. Good luck Linda, stay positive

    • I know this is a long shot – but I stayed in the women’s homeless shelter in Amarillo, TX about 7 years ago. I bet it’s still there. It is near downtown – there are several places that serve meals. If you could ever make it there I think you could get a foot up – just a thought!

      Good to hear from you as always! xo

  3. I am also in the face of becoming clearer about how chaos in childhood — and great danger and harm — prevented my physiology from building circuitry tied to being able to PLAN and execute plans to gain control over my life as a child or to create patterns of order.

    “If I do this then that will happen next.” These patterns were stolen away from me.

    Because this move is so stessful/distressful/disorienting/disorganizing to me those very old patterns built from continual exposure to chaos are rising way too closely to the surface. This is contributing — I see today — to my troubles being able to focus or concentrate. Many, many times a day I find myself taking two steps in a direction to accomplish something move-related that I decided to do as I entirely forget (dissociate) and cannot remember or track the original decision.

    I am simply documenting this experience. It’s like watching a member of an alien species moving through time and space. Jerkily, uncomfortably.

    These experiences are leaving me feeling LOST!!! Not only do I forget what I was doing, what I was going to do next (anxiety is too simple of a word for these experiences!), but I have to stop and get immediately back in touch with who I am — who is having these experiences!

    I know there are blog readers who know EXACTLY what I am talking about. My advantage is that I know help is arriving and that I can remind myself I am not in immediate mortal danger. (All through my childhood I was in very real mortal danger!)

    As long as I remember to make sure the burners are turned off on my stove before I leave the house I think I will be OK. As long as I can calm myself down before I turn on the ignition of my care and back out of my driveway I will be OK.

    I am

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