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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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
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’
The problem is that living a life in such a designed adapted body is really, really not a lot of fun!
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.
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–
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 disorders, adult reactive attachment disorder, anxiety disorders,borderline mother, borderline personality disorder, brain development, child abuse,depression,derealization, disorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorder, empathy, infant abuse, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factors, PTSD, resiliency, resiliency factors, risk factors, shame