Friday, January 3, 2014. Readers who have been following this blog for some time are aware that I have ten book manuscripts awaiting my daughter’s time for edit. TIME? In her life a most precious and nearly invisible asset. She made it through a nearly final edit of the first book, Story Without Words, last June and only during her days off of her regular job last week was able to complete her edit so the manuscript could be moved along to two readers who will feed back their comments on this book which is the fulcrum point around which all of my other books swirl.
In the meantime there is a segment I have written within the 10th manuscript that I am frankly too lazy to go look for at this moment that is connected to the topic of this post. Somehow, in spite of my great care in packing all my techy belongings as I left Arizona, I did not put my wireless mouse anywhere I can find it. I detest the arrangement for “mousing around” on this old laptop so have my old wired mouse plugged into the only USB port on this machine. My manuscripts are on one of my flash drives and without easy access to both a port and a mouse I can tolerate — well — this will have to do.
I write in that book about how I see the stress response system in operation for humans. Most simply there is a progression from startle-alert through anger, fear and sadness as we try to reestablish equilibrium so that we can continue on with our ordinary life. I describe the energy and intent of each of these powerful survival-based emotions. If we CANNOT cope immediately to resolve a “conflict” we leave the train station that sits at the edge of ordinary life and hop onto the trauma drama train.
I am used to thinking of trauma drama as being something we can always do without. Not so. It is often the nature of trauma drama reenactments we find ourselves in that contains the information we need to “get it” regarding the lessons that trauma has to teach us.
There is, however, a time when we are “beating a dead horse,” when enough is enough! When we COULD have learned the lesson and COULD have exited the trauma drama train and instead whirl around endlessly in stuck patterns of refusal-to-deal, what is going on?
Again because my energies are currently rather depleted I am going to take the shortcut through this blog. I cannot speak for anyone else and am too lazy at the moment to even speak of myself when it comes to patterns of endlessly circling through old trauma. What I do want to say is that when I listen to another person who is stuck on their own trauma drama train cycling through the cars that correspond to the progression of survival emotions — and I have listened to the story before — and before that — and…..?
Well, I have discovered that I have an inner physical response to my own continued involvement in someone else’s TD! I feel SLIMED! Just as though I have been tarred with ICK and am sitting around waiting for the feathers to fall.
NO!! I do not like this feeling. When there is no helpful purpose for me in listening I am going to become brave enough to say, “I understand this is very important to you but I no longer wish to hear the same story repeated again.” (Thanks but no thanks?)
I have some personal issues going on as I have returned to the scene of a failed marriage and after 30 years am now in the presence occasionally of my children’s father. I never processed one single feeling at the end of that marriage. I simply walked on with my life and he walked on with his. The only thing I took with me (other than our wonderful children) was the belief — as I have found since returning here — that I was 100% responsible for the troubles that led to that divorce.
New me? HOGWASH! I think it’s fair to say that all difficulties in relationships are split 50-50.
So when I hear someone retreat back to obsolete (seems to me) rehashing of old relationship issues I want to know how that 50-50 is split. In cases where the OTHER person is given 100% of the fault I wonder where the story teller’s 50% is. In my case regarding my ex-husband it is the OTHER person’s 50% share that needs to be repositioned.
If it is shame based in self that disturbs the process of ending trauma drama cycles that shame — in my thinking — is attached to one or all of the primary stress response emotions (anger, fear, sadness). It is not possible for me to work any of this out for another person. I have a hard enough time managing my own swirling around versus STOP I WANT TO GET OFF patterns regarding drama that has turned into a retraumatizing experience. Just saying…..
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