The body of a child,
Ripped, torn and beaten.
You think it was
Tripped, worn and eaten
Up, like dinner
Served to the winner.
Prized, praised, pretty and primped.
Lies, laid, little and limp.
Promised, plied, played and pimped.
Taste the bile,
All the while,
Stick to your style
Piece of shit.
So we are currently having a snow storm. It’s blowing like crazy. Kind of pretty really Even at this stage of winter.
The last few days have been fairly uneventful. Uneventful in an emotional/mental way. I’ve spent time with friends. I ‘ve gone out of the house even. Wow. But things inside are pretty calm. It always makes me wonder if a storm is brewing. Past experience tells me that it won’t last, this calmness. I guess that isn’t really a healthy way to think, but there it is.
I haven’t written or spoken about the memories yet. Maybe the insiders are in hiding knowing I’m considering doing this. I’m supposed to be trying to communicate more with them. Maybe the timing of everything is too wonky. I feel… unsettled. That’s a good word. Just plain unsettled.
“Things are not what they seem.”
This is a triggery phrase for me. I didn’t realize how triggery until yesterday. I was watching a show on TV when one of the characters pronounced this line. It’s important to note that it’s a little different than what people normally say. The usual line is “Things are not always what they seem.” A one word difference. By removing the word ‘always’ the sentence becomes a statement of fact rather than a philosophical pondering.
Let me explain what this trigger is about. For yes, I do actually know what hides behind this one. I was talking to my therapist back in hometown about high school one day. Just sort of random memories, what it was like what I was like, how those years affected me etc. I mentioned a specific teacher and suddenly remembered a conversation we had when he pulled me aside after class one day. It seems he knew I was having great difficulties with a court case that was happening against one of my perpetrators. (Another teacher from elementary school was prosecuted for one incident that I, me, myself remembered) Anyway, my high school teacher told me as sort of an afterthought to this conversation, as if hesitant that things are not what they seem. I had no idea what he was trying to tell my little teenage brain. I thought maybe he was just trying to convey some conventional wisdom about life in general.
However… saying that phrase years later in therapy awakened a strange sensation. Almost a knowing inside. I discovered that this teacher was likely trying to tell me that my life was a little more complicated than I realized. I believe now that the teacher knew there was something more going on with me. Now whether he was on the side of dark or light, or merely a bystander, I couldn’t tell you. Perhaps he was on dark and then saw the light, I don’t know. What I do know was that his message was to obscure for it to trickle down to where it needed to go. He told me something that day that would not come to fully realized until 15 years later.
I wonder what life would have looked like had I seen then what was actually happening to me. But wisdom tells me that I was not meant to know until I knew. Life unfolds as it should. Do I really believe that? I think maybe I do. Even if it leaves a sour, bitter mix of poison in my gut. Do you believe you were meant to suffer? Do you believe you were meant to be tested? Were you worthy enough to survive? You did survive, so maybe yes?
Sometimes the only things that can be translated in your mind are through pictures instead of words. Words simply can’t convey the power or intent behind our wants and needs. So I’ve resorted to drawing on more than one occassion. I wanted to include this specific drawing as a symbol of me reaching out to the world. Here I am, being vulnerable, being open, being honest and I lend my hand to you, my readers. I hope that you will reach for it in times of trial and in times of triumph.
Take care of yourselves,
So we talked today in therapy about the loss of connection I’ve been experiencing with my emotions. If you remember in my last post Icky Sticky Feelings, I was talking about how to sit with your feelings. reading back I guess I never really completed my thoughts on that. I AM indeed trying to sit with those feelings and it’s true that I want to lessen the burden of my insiders, but it seems in this endeavor I’ve managed to shut down my emotions completely instead. I am in a state of non-feeling. That is aside from the anxiety I’ve been feeling about a volunteering opportunity that’s come up.
This means that yes, there are words of the day. Compartmentalization and containment. We followed the trail of breadcrumbs, my therapist and I . It turns out the non-feeling is my way of working the skills I’ve been trying to learn. Emotion regulation, check… no emotion at all. Distress tolerance, check… no emotion at all.
I’m not doing this consciously mind you. It also has to do with the phase of treatment I’m in. We aren’t dealing with yucky trauma stuff right now. Not until we can be reasonably sure I have a grasp of grounding skills. Things like staying in the moment, being present within myself and also being able to tolerate intense emotion.
This is where the containment conundrum comes in to play. If I practice feeling a little more intensity than what I can currently tolerate I slip away and an insider takes over for me. which ok, hey I’m used to that. But with most of my insiders comes trauma content and very intense emotions. Flooding, a bunch of past events rushing to the surface, they start to spill over into everything. It’s not a pretty sight or a comfortable place to be. So in essence I’ve compartmentalized each emotion into a different insider. Shitty job they have right?
In the back of my mind I carry around this containment field that automatically switches into action any time I reach my tolerance level. So how does one practice feeling a little more, a little more, a little more when the switch is not under your control? Any ideas on that would be great.
The whole thing becomes an inescapable loop. Feel–>Switch–>Trauma–>Shut Down. Maybe it’s not so much a loop as it is a squiggly line. Unless, of course, the containment field is somehow breached so that the feeling comes roaring back, then it does become a loop. Ugh!
Coincidentally on a final note for the night, we went through a list of feelings I can tolerate and how much of each. Anxiety is something I tolerate quite well. Which yuck! Why would I choose that one to be MY job?