Thursday, November 20, 2014. Life demands of us that we continually react to the environment we are in. We react visibly and we react down to the molecular-based structures within us. Nobody is immune to these processes until they are dead. We are extremely complex beings alive within a world that is in constant flux. How people react is often a mystery.
I used to think my job as a person was to define myself by what I knew consciously at any moment. The difference between how I used to react in my life and how I react today seems to be because I am now a different person that I used to be. Now I am defined more by my disabilities than by my abilities — unless I pay very, very close attention to my thoughts. Today, reacting automatically seems to get me into nothing but trouble.
I have said many times on this blog that our task as severe early trauma survivors is not only to know WHO we are but also to know HOW we are in the world. WHO I am is the same person I have been on the level of my soul since the instant of my conception. But HOW I am in the world was completely modulated by the conditions I was born into.
Now? I need calm. The continual flux of life creates pressure on me to adapt. Adapt to remain alive? Yes. But how do I adapt to stay CALM?
Hard work. At age 63 it seems that in far more circumstances than not calmness is outside my reach. This is not good. This situation is moderated by my “disabilities.”
I think of bone rubbing on bone. I am most grateful that I have not experienced this condition physically. However, emotionally I am never far from being tossed into an uncomfortable sea of what can most easily and accurately be called “emotional dysregulation.” This is NOT calmness!
I crave peaceful calm more than anything on earth. Yet I can no longer adapt unconsciously to what the environment I live within in ways that allow me to stay at or near this state. Peaceful calm was never built into the center of my physiological being because of the horrendous trauma I was immersed within from birth. My center was forced to respond to and adapt itself to continual harm and threat of harm. My “natural” connections to peaceful calm were broken. Any calmness I ever experienced was interrupted by the intrusions of abuse.
Most simply put, when it comes to human contact I can only feel OK if I am around certain kinds of people. I don’t like to judge others, and yet I can instantly tell now HOW other people are in their world by HOW I react to them – instantly! There is no fooling my body.
The big deal seems to me to be that other people — whose development was not drastically altered within a trauma environment that they had to adapt their physiological development to and within — can easily fool themselves and do so on a nearly continual basis. They seem to get away with this because “the truth” does not NEED to matter to them the way it does to me. Other people have all kinds of ways to keep themselves “regulated enough” to get by and to get along in life. They can CHOOSE not to be conscious of themselves.
Probably because I NEED peaceful calm in my environment so much I am exquisitely attuned to its absence. Ordinary people who did not suffer abusive trauma from birth have peaceful calm built into them at the center of their physiology so it is the “balanced point of their equilibrium” in their body. They are SO fortunate and do not even know it.
So they can “mess around” through life not having to pay attention to or question discrepancies between HOW they are in the world versus how they think/believe that they are. If someone thinks they are nice, then there is no question — they are nice. If they think they are not angry or sad — then they aren’t. Etc. That simple.
My super attuned abilities, which basically get translated into disabilities because I am out-of-synch with the mainstream world I live in, instantaneously detect what my physiology translates into THE LIE. THE LIE is extremely threatening and dangerous to me.
The simplest way to describe my super detection system and process is to say everything varies on a continuum between peaceful calm = quiet and not peaceful calm = NOISY!!
NOISE dysregulates my body and I no longer have the ability to “down size” this kind of trauma-triggered reaction. It isn’t that I am currently REALLY exposed to “trauma.” It is that my physiology has become (at age 63) so worn out and sensitized that I perceive trauma as being anything less than peaceful calm. My abilities to modulate, or re-regulate my reactions also seems to be worn out.
Even living 9-10 hours every weekday in this tiny apartment with a very active and often LOUD and attention-demanding little grandson, who today turns 28 months old, frequently dysregulates me.
I think of burned skin — so extremely sensitive to ANY water upon it, or any pressure. I think of my body as being like an automobile that no longer has an adequately-working accelerator-deaccelerator, braking system, or transmission. I can mostly only control my reactions to my life by controlling the environment I move around within.
Tough job. I am not a “control freak.” I am never comfortable in any way trying to control or manipulate another person. My natural tendency is to withdraw. Avoid. I do not wish to change others even though I KNOW that if they were “different” I would be far more OK.
I can’t make others be honest about how they feel, what their motives are, be honest about their levels of denial, their anger, their manipulations, their biases and prejudices, or even their ignorance. It is not their “fault” that I lack what they have, abilities to simple be OK within because their earliest attachment relationships built them to “be good enough” in a “good enough” world.
What I feel as “pressure” does not affect ordinary (non-early traumatized, abused, neglected, terrorized…,) people hardly at all. Do I envy them! OH YES I DO! I grieve increasingly for not only what I have lost in my life but for the ground it seems I am losing every single day I remain alive. My world is shrinking. Shrinking. The less able I am to remain regulated within the bigger world the smaller my comfort zone becomes.
I am not trying to be negative. However, I am being very realistic. In all truth moving here to a city on a landscape and within a climate that is NOT good for me has vastly depleted me of those external resources I have been able to access and use in the past to help myself have “sanctuary within” myself. But all of that is —– another part of my story.
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