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