Dear Karma Kid

Dear Karma Kid

Dear Karma Kid, I know you have heard it a hundred times, but your past doesn’t define you.  And because you have heard it a hundred times, I am going to explain what I mean.  You are not evil because you grew up amongst evil.  You endured evil.  You experienced evil.  But none of those things make you innately evil.  I know the statistics.  Those who commit evil have been through their own trauma.  That is true.  How could they know it otherwise?  But you are not what you experienced. You don’t have to claim victim, survivor, or even overcomer as your primary identity.  Sure, you have a story.  And your story sucks.  Your story sounds so horrible, a screenwriter couldn’t come up with that crap.  But it isn’t all that you are.  It isn’t even most of what you are.  Don’t get me wrong, there would be no Beating Trauma without it.  But it doesn’t define you.  More importantly, it doesn’t limit you.  There aren’t certain thresholds of life that become unavailable to you because of your story or any other reason. More importantly, you aren’t destined to fail because of your past.  You are worthy of the same beautiful life everyone can attain by gaining a deep self understanding and working hard.  You are worthy of great things even though the first part of your life was far from great. You don’t have to live with the label of evil because you were coerced to do evil as a child.  This is a tough one for you.  I get it.  You were brainwashed.  You were told you...
Owned

Owned

I never ask for help.  Some might say that is a result of my own need to be perfect.  Some might blame it on my inability to trust.  Others might say it is an inability to be vulnerable.  And honestly, those are all true to some extent.  But recently, I have come to understand another angle to the complex kaleidoscope that is my inner world.  I have found another inner part.  And her understanding of the world is very complex and somewhat mature.  It is so mature that I am struggling to separate from some of her beliefs.  In other words, she seems right to me, at least somewhat. Interestingly, she comes as the yin to my mean girl’s yang.  I have to admit I didn’t see that coming.  But apparently, when my mean girl split, there was another simultaneous split.  A very calm, caring and rational being came to exist at the same time.  I have to admit I like her.  She doesn’t yell at me.  She doesn’t insult me.  She is even a bit vulnerable like some of my younger parts, but not in a desperate way.  That said, I also realize she has caused me some significant problems in life.  Her expectations of how the world works have been the ultimate form of sabotage. I believe her to be trauma-bonded, but not in the traditional sense of the word.  She is not so young that she believes we must love those that hurt us.  I have another part like that.  She is different.  She believes we are bonded to the abusers for life, but not through...
Doing Nothing at All

Doing Nothing at All

I’m a control freak.  I am not talking about the kind of control freak that people secretly love because she will get everything done so they don’t have to.  I am talking about the kind of control freak people run from because they know there will be casualties.  I came by it honestly though.  My childhood was scary.  It was terrifying.  And I was absolutely convinced there was a way to control the fear-inducing abuse.  Since I was sure it was my fault, I had to be sure I could make it better.  I just had to try harder, control more things, get it done better, faster, more accurately.  If I did that, it would be okay. So as an adult, I became a hard-core control freak.  I controlled everything I could possibly control.  And I controlled everything I couldn’t control … or so I thought.  I was exhausted.  But honestly, I was doing a pretty good job of convincing myself I could pull it off.  People had learned to stay the hell out of my way.  And I had things in order. So don’t ask me why I decided to bring children in to my life.  I guess I thought they would just fall in line with my perfectly controlled life.  All the parents are laughing now.  I can actually hear you.  And lucky me.  I was not just blessed with two beautiful children.  I was blessed with one child with no interest in following a schedule.  And even more infuriating, I was blessed with another child who was prepared for battle.  It didn’t matter the subject.  It...
The How & The Why

The How & The Why

How? For most of us, the recovery journey starts as a venture in to the world of feeling.  Our poor bodies have been numb for so long, we don’t have any idea what it feels like to feel.  It is like being an infant exploring emotions for the first time.  Of course, there is a huge difference.  We have defense mechanisms and they are well-honed.  Dissociation has been our fast friend, and leaving that behind sounds like a horrible idea. So we spend our time discovering our feelings.  We re-examine our default stance of “I am fine” and feel some very hard emotions.  How does grief feel?  How does anger feel?  How does shame feel?  How does true happiness feel … not the masky kind?  The bad emotions feel awful and the good emotions feel awkward.  As time passes, we slowly become experts in how we feel.  We may also learn that how we feel is not necessarily a representation of this moment.  We may also learn that the traumatic emotions don’t always need a trigger.  Sometimes they are just there. This tolerance for emotions is an incredible shift in our lives.  We can learn so much through understanding how we feel.  But this is the start of the journey.  While learning how we feel will give us access to our traumatic response, learning why we feel that way is how we stop the traumatic response.  I know what you are thinking.  I feel that way because of my trauma.  What else do I need to know?  But what if I told you each emotion has a reason.  What...
Healing in Community

Healing in Community

What the Abusers Don’t Want When we go through trauma in childhood, our interpretation can take one of two extremes.  It can all seem so random.  It can make us feel like the most unlucky people on the planet.  How could so many bad things happen to one child?  In most cases, we “figure out” that it was all our fault.  On the other extreme, it can seem like dark magic.  We can believe that others were given powers to use against us.  These powers are not beatable based on our life experience and capabilities.  Once again, we “figure out” that it was all our fault. In reality and as usual, the answer is somewhere in the middle.  Those bad things didn’t happen to us because something was wrong with us.  And those bad things didn’t happen because our abusers were all powerful and we were not.  The circumstances that landed us in that situation were not our fault, but they were certainly planned.  And while our abusers were not all powerful, they were more powerful than a child, and what they said to us was certainly planned. I am not suggesting that they consciously wrote out a project plan outlining all the details of how to traumatize us for life.  Most of the planning happens on an unconscious level with abusers.  They access their own unconscious trauma and use those same tactics on us.  And those tactics use an uncanny understanding of child development to brainwash us in to believing it was all our fault.  They also convince us that there is absolutely nothing we can do about...