Sunday, March 09, 2014. Do I know my limitations right now and if I do, do I know how to honor those limitations? My entire life is swirling around me in parts and pieces – like chunks and shreds of flying debris. I recognize this state of emergency both in myself and in my immediate family. I think in important ways all of us with traumatic, complicated lives both wish for with all our heart and DREAD with everything in our being — these kinds of times.
Healing comes through in these times. That is the hope, the intention anyway. Yet I am not sure they (these times) could be more complex, more sinister, more frightening — no, terrifying — in many, many ways.
These are life and death times. Sometimes actual physical life and death is on the line. Sometimes it is a death with hope of new life that must include major changes in one’s way of being in the world. These are times of birthing. Of regeneration. But oh the agonies of birthing sometimes.
The hidden difficulties appear as if called into the sky above to cloud or to blacken, to illuminate, to prevent ignorance — ignorance born of the need to survive hard times at all. That kind of ignoring that keeps TOO MUCH INFORMATION from swamping the often meager boat, the retrofitted (seemingly) pathetic rafts that we have strung together from the times of our childhood and then try to create a good life all through our adult lives being tossed around upon.
I could continue on in my life during the first half of it being oblivious to feelings. I could cry and then continue forward without remembering (thinking about) ever having cried before. I could make choices and decisions without ever having to link one to the other. All I knew how to do was to endure. To survive. Working SO HARD at living!!!! Knowing NO OTHER WAY to be alive!
I just grabbed a piece of paper and a pen a few moments ago and sketched out how my life feels to me right now. I started by making a little circle connected to a short straight line going across the paper. Attached to the end of this line I drew down a long squiggly line that formed a loop “down there” and then squiggled its way back up again to meet at the point where it began. Like a loop of crooked string.
Then a little space. Then I drew another concoction just the same as the first one. Then another one and another and another.
I know that along each of the drooping, dropping down squiggle loops is a collection of experiences I have had in my life that as a rule – in any given moment in the passage of time in my current life — have no meaning to me because they do not relate to what is going on NOW.
I have always left them behind (No, Dr. Daniel Siegel, they are so NOT integrated into my main life story!) as I faced and tackled and made do living with whatever appeared to me next.
All fine so it seems until something MAJOR happens – like is happening for me now – that brings into play my entire life history! Like pulling up a series of tangled fishing lines dropped off the edge of my battered raft – Is there anything life-producing (helpful, useful) attached to or involved with my history stored along those lines?
Dissociation. Protection against being overwhelmed with more information at any one time than any person could cope with!
Take a step. One dot as my heel rests upon the earth. A line forms as the rest of my foot lays itself down. A space between. Another step forward. As if being alive gives anyone any other choice?
BUT ALL THAT INFORMATION DOWN THERE! ALL of it contaminated in some way from the horrendous traumatic abuse of the first 18 years of my life that was glued inside of me as I made all my choices. All my decisions.
Children were born to me. There is no way I could leave behind me (down below, tromp tromp drag tromp….) all my complicated history so that it could NOT touch and hurt my children.
No. The history my children carry of the trauma that happened to me and came through me to be their burden is NOTHING like the burden I carry — but it hurts them just the same. Just as I could not have anyone heal me they must heal themselves. Now within THIS family we are all doing our best to be there for one another. But oh what a storm!
Prayer and faith and forgiveness. Truth and honesty. Love. Courage and willingness. But this time is PAINFUL!! It is very very hard.
Of course individuals do not stand all alone in sharing the passed-down traumas within families. In many ways – so many of them accidental — we carry these traumas and their effects together. Heart to heart. Shoulder to shoulder. Tears and rage. Hopes and terrors. In the traces together.
And when one falls? When one begins to fall? When one begins to STOP FALLING?
This is not an arbitrary process. Death is disintegration. Continued life is integration. (Yes, Dr. Siegel — I hear this!) Life is orderly. No matter how hard, no matter how chaotic it might feel. Healing IS ORDERLY in its own way so that life can go on — and go on — better than it was before.
Even when it doesn’t feel that way.
So many of those trauma-loaded lines below being shaken and dragged up into NOW at the same time. Is it true that we cannot bear alone what is meant to be shared together?
Here is our first book out in ebook format. A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben! Click here to view or purchase:
It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers. Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!
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