My Childhood Trauma Of Powerlessness Is Leaking Into My Adult Life
My childhood trauma of powerlessness, hopelessness, despair and no self-respect is leaking into my adult life. It happens often and I do not seem to be able to repair the leakage. Do you notice how something like this can be affecting all areas of your life? How focused can you really be on anything else in your life when your house is leaking?
I am constantly amazed by the power of trauma: you heal it, you feel better, you think you are done with it, and when it comes back in all its “glory” and force (which happens from time to time, in circles, in spirals, in repetition), it hits you like a wave and you fall down in swirls, fighting for breath. You know it is happening because the usual suspects become overwhelmingly triggered : addictions, ailments of the mood, physical symptoms. And when it hits you, there is no other medicine more effective than connection itself, nothing extreme I urge you, just small dosages of connection enacted in different fronts: talking to a friend for 5-10 minutes, looking at a tree, looking at the way its leaves surrender to the wind, petting your cat, and small acts of self-connection as well, writing, drawing, recording your voice, dancing it out, all of the above or whichever works for you best really..and mix them up with breaks of extreme self care and conscious comforting, curling up under a blanket, watching series on Netflix, most purposefully eating small dosages of comfort food. Keep all of the above short, in small dosages and keep them alternating. This will stop any of them from becoming a way for you to avoid your pain and it will turn them all into a way for you to consciously connect with your pain, it will give the part of yourself that is hurting a sense of presence and compassion and support while you are waiting for the storm to pass. And it will pass, and you will learn something from it and it is going to be ok for a while. And sometime soon it will -make no mistake about it- come back to hit you again. And when that happens do not force yourself to be innovative. You know the drill. Do it all over: the connection, the comfort, the self care, in small dosages and alternating between them. And when the storm is over again, during the time you have in your hands in-between storms, do what must be done: clean up the mess that the storm has left behind and start empowering and fortifying yourself for the next one. I have always made this mistake and I think other people make this mistake too: we try to fix ourselves when we are low, miserable, anxious, depressed, powerless. Then when we feel better we consider ourselves fixed and we forget about it. I am now proposing that we do not collect the wood for the fire at the moment of the storm. This is not a moralistic suggestion about how it is good to be proactive and act wisely. My suggestion is only to do with our ability to be present with ourselves, aware that there is a hole in our roof (it has been there since back when our ancestors built the house). It will most likely let plenty of light in on a sunny day but on a bad day it will let the rain, the hail, the snow, and the freezing cold in. Every time. And we need to know where the hole is and put a bucket under it and light a warm fire at the dry corner of the house and gather there around the fire with all our resources available and wait. This moment..how we wait..how we hurt..is who we are. It is not an unexpected hardship that has come to us from the outside. It is not bad luck or an unfortunate coincidence. No. It is coming from the inside, from the deepest inside we have inside us. It is our reality, our most real reality. It is the absolute truth of our most absolute truth.
Personally I am fed up with hiding this truth from myself, with pretending, every day, that this part of me does not exist..this part of me which has been in pain since my early childhood and which is still in pain. I am fed up with being surprised every time it shows up! For as many days of every week it decides to show up I will be there..I will be there with my full attention at the part of myself that feels weak, powerless, hopeless, self-loathing and without a jot of self-worth or self-respect. I will trust it as an important part of my reality and I will wait with the conviction that it is a storm, it is my childhood storm, my childhood trauma, leaking into my adult life every time there is a change.
Text by Birds WG
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash