+NOT A “HOLIDAY SEASON” KIND OF PERSON?

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Thursday, December 29, 2016.  “Of course you feel that way!  I am here with you.  I hear you.  I value you.  I understand.  You are safe with me.”

Wow.

Add to this interplay between people a shared awareness that there are situations and circumstances that bother people – things that are less than ideal and often can be downright challenging.

Does it matter most that we are not alone?

Adrift in dangerous waters.  Alone.

Add to that – for many people – the fact that those in early years that were supposed to shelter, protect, and preserve from harm the very young people – did the opposite – harming them by what was done as well as by the withholding of what was so very vitally needed….

Fast forward….

All these things – in operation in all kinds of ways in all kinds of communities.  Everywhere.

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All I know is that this American “holiday season” can be really hard on people.  I think it amplifies and sets to vibrating all attachment traumas that have accumulated over one’s lifetime.

And where’s the reprieve?  Who shares with us that comfort of “Of course you feel that way?”

That’s an unsolvable paradox in many, many situations.  If our life has always run along smoothly – for the most part – are we more able to float over a holiday season feeling happy and inwardly connected in all the ways that matter?

And if our life has been built from the beginning upon trauma perpetuated by those main attachment people who we needed to comfort, sooth and protect and assist us – what then?

It is NOT OUR FAULT – nothing for us to feel ashamed about – if the opposite of “joy” seems to darken the passageway from the start of any “holiday season” to the end of it.  We are not to blame if underneath all efforts we might make to assist those around us to feel happier doesn’t seem to naturally bathe us in a warm glow-from-within.

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How can we “be OK” if we are not FEELING OK?  I have to remind myself often that I am far, far, FAR more than “just how I feel.”  For very sensitive people — especially for those who suffered from trauma altered development due to abuse, trauma, neglect and failed attachment during the earliest, critically important developmental months and years of life – our body cannot necessarily separate past feelings from present-moment ones.

Yes, this is part of “trauma triggering.”  When time as a certain culture prefers to consider it seems to warp – to wrap past around present and back again – we CAN feel more overwhelmed that we actually are (in the present moment).

I am blessed beyond words to have a trauma-informed so-compassionate friend to talk with (he lives almost 2k miles away but telephones of today are miracles!) so that I can hear those so-important words!

“Of course you feel that way!”

Together we talk feelings out and put life in perspective for NOW – no matter how the past has “in-formed” itself into us.

Relighting the lantern of compassionate self-and-other care is a continual process.  We are always trying to untangle trauma from our lives as we seek to understand it.

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I think that what we most need is the sense that “Everything is OK.”  “I am OK” is the essence of being safe and secure (not being threatened with or in danger), not feeling alone, feeling soothed, knowing that somehow we are never alone (which I believe is a spiritual truth).  Early highly traumatized people might not often feel this way – perhaps never really do. “Of course we feel that way” – and these truths are part of “normalizing” our inner experiences.

It can be very tiring to have to live this way as trauma survivors.  I think this is a big part of why for many the “holiday season” can be so difficult to get through.  Why can’t we, at least just for THIS SEASON, feel “better?”

Trauma isn’t a snowflake that will melt with the first hint of warmth.  Holidays are not magical.  Often they are trauma amplifiers – “So of course we feel this way!”

Our life is not easy.  It’s often damn hard in major ways.  We never deserved what was done to us.  NEVER!!

Yet here we are.  Here we still are.  And there IS goodness here.  It helps us to try to find that goodness.  One personal truth at a time.  One shared truth at a time.

One breath at a time.

One heartbeat

One shared heartbeat….

Because no matter how alone we feel at any given moment in time — we are all in this process called life – together.

Holidays are no exception.

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Leave a Comment »

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Here is my first book out in ebook format as it provides an outline of the conditions of my malevolent childhood.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

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Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

 

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+A LITTLE ORDER IN THE MIDST OF CHAOS SURE FEELS LIKE PEACE TO ME

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Friday, December 16, 2016.  Musing today:  What is listening?  To me it is an interaction that really cannot take place without the “feeling felt” experience being present.

I sure in no way believe it’s limited to humans interacting with humans!  That makes listening, in my “cosmological” thinking, something that directly involves spirit!

Listening.  A transmission of experience – very much in the NOW moment when it is in action – therefore it is LIFE itself – in motion.  Hence, it’s connection to emotion = energy in motion.  The life force itself being exchanged.

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I am exceedingly grateful for having been able to spend the bulk of my childhood ensconced in the wilderness upon the mountainside of our Alaskan homestead.  I had so little consciousness of anything back then due to the terrible and bizarre situation of my human family madness.  Yet I did have relationship with fundamental nature.  Looking back I understand that I was in perpetual relationship with Life Spirit.

Human relationships were forbidden to me by Mother’s unique version of psychotic madness.  No matter what was done to me while we were on the mountain, my essential self was OK – because I was essentially connected.  Although on human level I was alone, on the level of spirit I was continually near an infinite source of comfort.

During the times we were living off of the mountain my life was much more difficult.  At those times the prison she created for me was itself trapped within another prison – the one created by “civilization” – which I can simply translate as being degrees of absence from the pure spirit of nature.

Yet even then Alaska itself exuded (pre-oil boom, pre-satellites and drones….) its own force so that it permeated most people who walked upon its land, drank its water, breathed its so-sweet air.  I know this factor assisted my survival.  Survival that continues because it is directly linked to the power-of-place.

Sustaining place.  Which seems to be different for different people.  (I have a dear friend raised on a North Dakota farm who moved to Manhattan as soon as she could do so after completing her art degree – and LOVES it there.  A total mystery to me.)

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At least I look out my window here and see outlines of forest covered mountains in the near distant north.  Rolling hills surrounding this small New Mexico town I have moved to seeming to be warm and holding arms surrounding me.  Dappled light, leaves free now to turn their favorite shade of red or gold, free to travel in the light or blustering breezes.

I have hopes once I am more settled here that I will be able to travel around to see the land here, to visit the wilderness – although my definition of wilderness will always inherently mean WAY NORTH – but this area is protected, designated wilderness.  I am glad it is near to me and that I am near to it.

I feel sustained in ways that North Dakota could never afford me.  There’s an inner assurance for me that I will be OK.

On the human range?  Gradually I wander the hills of town, visiting shops, approaching people, casually chatting, trying to learn/remember names, hearing stories….

This is all tied to the organization and orientation of a person in one’s life.  Listening within to what feels comfortable, lends to senses of safety and security, of resonance that says “Where I am comes closer to mirroring to me who I essentially am that other places possibly can.”

Coming home.  Coming home to self.  Finding others to listen to as I listen to the wind, the area, the place – and being human, the stories and lived degrees of drama of others who live here – many from families who have been here for hundreds of years – I will feel more felt – hopefully lighting up places within where joy resides – rather than hides.

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The fight to survive.  To endure.

The fight to feel OK.

Then the fight to find the glimmerings of joy – and then maybe some floods of it?

And – to somehow be connected not only to the spirit of land and climate and animals – but also to someone else – even if only once in a while.

Contributions of goodness.  Acts of service to the world we are a part of.  Not always easy.  Certainly.  But along the continuum of possibilities – the art of finding ways to genuinely feel better is a really, really good ‘thing’.

One moment at a time is fine.  When we connect to any fundamental place within us so that our essential self can feel at rest (as we listen within to what this sounds/feels like) – when there is no immediate threat present that needs to be responded to by our body’s survival stress responses (not even in our thoughts at these moments) – I think we are feeling-felt by our own self-within-the-flow-of-ongoing-life – the way we are all SUPPOSED to feel it.

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Meanwhile……

All this trauma?  Not in our own lifespan – but it is coming, that time when humanity will mature greatly so that all this human-caused trauma will end everywhere on this earth.  We are all a part of humanity’s maturation process, this healing.  And sometimes — we can feel the upside right here — within us.

And when we do — I think it is important to notice!  Notice “all the way around” and within us.  There’s a context here.  Lots of important information exists in these moments of (relative) peace we can notice, listen to, experience, value, learn from.

Maybe these are moments when order has been (briefly?) established within a chaotic world.  Oh, how I know how tiring it is to have to work so hard to reach these moments!  Yet sometimes they come as gifts of grace.  I don’t want to miss noticing and cherishing them — no matter what — I am listening.

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Leave a Comment »

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Here is my first book out in ebook format as it provides an outline of the conditions of my malevolent childhood.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

++++

Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

 

 

 

+NOTES ON A “DISSOLVABLE SELF”

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Thursday, December 15, 2016.  Not OK.  Not at all OK.  This is the essence of trauma.  When we – and those close to us (physically/emotionally/history-wise = through any kind of ‘proximity recognition’) – are not OK, trauma exists.

It is present somewhere, and until there is positive and (dare I say?) exemplary resolution (solution) to the stem, root cause of and circumstances surrounding ‘this’ trauma, there IS NO OK!

We, then, are either OK – or we are not.  We?  Me?  You?  Some of us?  All of us?

My next thought is of “pockets of infection.”  Causes of trauma ARE infections.  They are disturbances of OKness, of equilibrium, of restitution (restoring to-ness) of all kinds of “flaws” to ALL of our lives on physical – which includes emotional and, of course, spiritual – well-being.

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I question perfection in this sphere of existence within which these words are being written and read.  I believe in progress toward perfection, certainly, and in the process of being alive in this material world there must be differences and distinctions, continuums which may or may not include polarities and their juxtapositions.  There is inherent change in this world-life.

Change.  An absolute?

I do not know, but I do know there are limited acceptable parameters for what IS OK and what is not OK for humans in order for their well-being to be experienced.

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And then – there is joy.  There is happiness.  There is peace and tranquility.

There is such a thing, even in split-nanosecond time increments, of being SAFE and SECURE at the same time we are alive.  Then there is also such a thing of feeling TRUSTING this safe and secure experience is NOT limited to split-nanoseconds of the time of our life.

How does this kind of trust coexist with degrees of non-well-being?  Is this where hope comes in?  How about empowerment?  That we somehow have the ability to access resources?

Resources.  What are they?  Or can I simply repeat what I learned in about 4th grade — that who, what, when, where, how, why and how much – MATTERS – to all life all of the time?

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Are we OK personally?  Are others OK?  (How inclusive our conception of OTHERS is matters.)

If not – who is not OK?  From here we can use all the 4th grade mental tools to examine problems, find and implement solutions.

No part of this process of life is about being alone – no matter how alone we feel.  Cutoff from resources, including adequate human ones, yes.  But we are not alone.  We are in this together.

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These words also come to mind:  Inner quietude; assurances, feeling assured; faith, belief, knowing; healing; protection.

Is there such a ‘thing’ as broken?  Is there such a ‘thing’ as being lost?

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Truth is, none of this is what I really want to mention today.  I want to say that I doubt that anyone escapes the sensation of being disorganized-disoriented when any threat to our essential life appears.  While this might be more common than any of us early severe abuse and neglect survivors might guess, I do doubt that others do not DISSOLVE when such a threat comes along – out of nowhere.

This dissolution of self, I bet, is most profound for people who suffered especially attacks by earliest caregiver(s) – most often mother – and were not nurtured by this person.  In fact, many of us were, because of severe mental illness in our early caregiver, actually HATED.

Because, in essence, the end purpose of early safe and secure attachment is to help us become an essentially happy and whole self – early experience on the opposite extreme can certainly create the opposite kind of self – one that barely exists at all – the “dissolved” or “easily dissolvable” self.

The sketches I drew above apply to everyone.  We all experience life with our some-version-of-a-self.  Those of us at the ‘bottom’ of the disorganized-disoriented insecure attachment (which I would call even in adults a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)) ladder experience the classic dysregulation of this attachment pattern as “dissociation” that built our physiology, meaning our essential self is an easily “dissolvable” one when we are not feeling safe and secure with others and/or with the essential circumstances of our existence.

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And yet if one studies the tomes of developmental neuroscience

it could be said that if forming a body-brain on all its multiple complex levels that is maximally designed to respond quickly, efficiently, effectively to threat in the environment

and then to return to pre-threat stasis point is a really GOOD ‘thing’

that maximally ensures continued survival

so that

a person formed in a most malevolent early caregiver environment

who has essentially a ‘reactive dissolvable’ responsive self in consequence

might actually be the most highly evolved adaptive ‘system’

on earth.

The problem is that living a life in such a designed adapted body is really, really not a lot of fun!

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I am, of course, being vicious with any allusion to this terrible state of existence as being positive – in any way other than the fact our adaptive abilities have kept us alive.  NOBODY should EVER go through an early life under those kinds of malevolent, hostile, brutal, etc. conditions!  EVER!!

My positive allusion is only to this point, to emphasize what an incredibly adaptive system early human development can avail itself of.

While as adults we can try to do everything in our power to create a life environment of minimal threat and maximum safety and security, we cannot control the world.  There will be times when circumstances will threaten us and our (degrees of…) “dissolvable self” will be triggered.

Then what?

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Leave a Comment »

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Here is my first book out in ebook format as it provides an outline of the conditions of my malevolent childhood.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

++++

Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame